Regardless of how big or small your business is, every company should have clearly defined and accessible company values. If you still consider values to be a marketing gimmick to acquire companies, then catch up; company values are now considered essential to business success.
What are Company Values?
Company values are the ideals that shape your company’s identity. Though some may feel that values are merely marketing’s attempt to virtue signal to potential clients, values have the power to shape decision-making, attract and retain talent and motivate your employees. The most common values are integrity, boldness, honesty, fairness and trustworthiness, but there’s no shortage of values to choose from. What’s important is that they’re clearly communicated, they’re embodied by leadership and reinforced frequently.
Why are they important?
At Employment Hero, our company values are
We use these values to guide us on a daily basis. Each time we embark on a new project or identify new goals to aspire to, our values are at the forefront of our mind. ‘What value does this serve?’, we ask ourselves. Our leadership team does an excellent job of embodying these values, which encourages employees to do the same. For values to have this effect, they have to be authentic. If not, they won’t have any impact. Values are also essential to the hiring process. By having clearly defined goals, HR managers can filter candidates based on how well they adhere to your company values. Candidates that don’t fit the bill are unlikely to fit in and may struggle to be a productive member of the team. In this way, company values can play a big part in developing your company culture, prioritising which virtues you employees should aspire to and helping them create a sense of belonging in the workplace. Birds of a feather flock together, so by using your values to guide you through the hiring process, you can not only reduce turnover, but also build a culture that potential candidates want to be part of.
How can you decide what your values will be?
When it comes to deciding on your own values, consider your team first. The chances are, you already have some values that are inherent in your workplace (plus it’s a great opportunity to show your employees that you value their input). Conduct a survey of what values they think best represent your company. Using their feedback, choose a handful of values to help guide and motivate both you and your employees. Our top tip: Aim for four values that each represent completely different ideals. Keeping the number of values low will make it easier for your team to remember them and ensure they’re always front of mind. As for keeping them as unique as possible, it’s not very effective to have two values that represent the same thing (i.e. teamwork and collaboration). Values should also be timeless, remaining as relevant today as they will be in 50 years. Don’t forget that for values to have an impact, they need to be lived and breathed by the leadership team – if your values aren’t relevant to you, they won’t be relevant to your team.
How can you implement them?
Deciding on what values you want to guide your company is the easy part; ensuring they’re absorbed, lived and breathed is the hard part. We’ve already covered how to make this easier when you choose your values, but what else can you do to help your employees identify with them? If you’re already using Employment Hero, our latest reward and recognition feature, SuperHero Nominations, is the best way to not only recognise and reward employees for representing your values, but to highlight and reinforce those values to other employees. The more often you reward behaviour that represents your values, the more likely your staff is to perform their role in a way that emulates those values. And don’t forget the effect it will have on the person who was nominated! By recognising and rewarding employees when they go above and beyond, you’re reinforcing a culture of high performance, making your company more productive and profitable. Everybody wins! Other than recognising and rewarding performance that represents your company values, it’s also a good idea to keep your values front of mind. Name meeting rooms after your values, have them clearly displayed in your workplace and ensure they’re at the forefront of your mind when deciding on new objectives or goals for the year. Already have company values in effect? What are they and how do you ensure they’re part of the fabric of your company? Can you add to our tips and tricks? Share your experiences with values below or feel free to ask any questions in our comments section below. 👇
If you want more information about company values, culture and how both of these things are the key to your businesses success – download our whitepaper. In this insightful guide, we highlight exactly how company culture can decrease employee churn, and increase company growth.