Practicing What You Preach: The Importance of Corporate Values
If we honor our values, they should dictate our decisions.
A company’s values should be no different — if a company claims to value a transparent, collaborative work environment, their values and culture should naturally reflect that.
Corporate values are something many companies tout, but do not adhere to when the rubber meets the road. But the companies who are authentic about their values — internally and externally — reap the rewards. Let’s look at a few examples.
Attracting the right employees: There is a popular saying that “People don’t leave their jobs, they leave their bosses.” While that is definitely true, another reason that is often cited by employees is the company culture. If a company has a strong set of values and earnestly lives them out, they will attract high-quality candidates who think likewise.
Creating a Community: You are bringing together an incredibly diverse team from all backgrounds (if you are doing it right, at least), so establishing and building a community is important. Corporate values are a great way to signify what that community looks like. By giving everyone the same roadmap and instructions around what success looks like at the company, you will ensure collaboration and a shared vision.
Creating an Identity: Many companies are known for certain characteristics among the consumer base. Some are good — others are not as good. Long before the public formed an opinion around a company’s identity, there were internal actions that created this reality. Take control of your identity from an internal perspective, and it will naturally flow with what the consumer or client sees you as. You must be intentional, and you must start as soon as possible — even if you think it’s too late, perception can be changed if there is a genuine shift in company identity.
Making Company Decisions: If we honor our values, they should dictate our decisions. If there are strong corporate values in place and a history of allowing those values to serve as a roadmap to success, decision-making becomes a lot less complicated. When in doubt, revisit those values and they will point you in the right direction.
But how do I create corporate values?
If this all sounds great, but you are unsure where to start with creating or revamping your corporate values, there are a few simple steps that will help you on your journey.
Let your mission statement be your catalyst
Create values that are unique to your company
Don’t be afraid to evolve
At the end of the day, corporate values are all about people. In order to be successful, you need great people. They may not always agree or come from the same backgrounds, but the corporate values give them something in common as they collaborate to accomplish the mission and goals set forth by the company.