Why does your company exist? What makes you special? Why should I do business with you? Why should I work for you?
These are some of the questions every customer and employee subconsciously ask themselves before they engage with your company. I am going to share with you a powerful, but often ignored strategy that will allow you to attract more customers, foster a successful company culture, engage your employees, and increase your business’s overall performance.
The strategy is simple…..it’s to create, articulate, and circulate your company’s core values because everything revolves around values.
Simply put, your mission is where you want to go, and your core values are how you are going to get there.
Core values are what support your company’s vision and shape its culture. They are the essence of the company’s identity – the thing that differentiates you from everyone else in your field. Most importantly, core values communicate to your employees what is important to you and the company. It is these guiding principles that dictate how your employees should behave and interact while working for your organization.
When Zappo’s CEO Tony Hsieh was asked what he’d do differently if he could start his company all over again, his simple response was,
“If I could go back and do Zappos all over again I would actually come up with our values from day one.”
In truth, simply drafting a list and posting it on the bulletin board for all to see will do little to positively impact your employees’ behavior. To intentionally shape the actions and interactions of your employees, you must integrate your company’s core values into the daily workflow. Employees do not turn to written statements for clues on how to behave – they look at the environment around them.
This is precisely why Striv360 integrated your company’s core values into every Striv360 recognition. Connecting recognition and rewards to one of your company’s core values ensure they become an integral part of your organization’s environment.
At Zappos, the core values are committed to memory and ultimately set the expectations for every Zappos worker. But values are going to look different for every team and company, depending on your unique personality, customers, goals, and company mission.
So how do you figure out the values your team should live and work by? To get you started, click to view some great core value examples.
Feel inspired and want to craft your own list, here are some tips.
1. Determine who should be involved.
Make sure all decision-makers are on the same page. They should be committed to drafting, implementing, and emulating these traits. And be in agreement that these values will be the guiding principles and foundation for the company going forward.
2. Brainstorm what’s important to you and your team
Decision makers should come to the brainstorming meeting prepared with ideas. At the meeting, it’s important to let the ideas flow freely, identify themes, and hone in on what’s important. Remember to add in ideas that would make the company and team successful.
3. Consolidate and define.
Take all your brainstormed ideas, combine the similar ones and narrow the list down to your most important 10. Then thoroughly define each core value.
4. Frame your values according to your teams’ culture.
Depending on your corporate culture, it’s important to take your 10 core values and frame them in a way that’s more relatable and inspiring. Rename them in a more clever, eye-catching way that will make your employees more excited about the company vision.
5. Evaluate your values as a complete set.
Once you have a set of values (between 5-10, there is no firm rule) evaluate them as a whole. Do they encompass the most important aspects of your companies mission? Are they ideas your willing to hold your employees to?
With a unifying set of values, you’ll find that your employees will feel more unified- knowing exactly what’s expected from them, and in the end, it will make a huge difference in your culture.