Define and Document Your Company's Core ValuesJul 20, 2021
Every business owner should take time to define and document her company’s core values to ensure each of your employees or contract service providers are working toward the same common goal or purpose.
And beyond purpose, core values shape your company’s culture- they define the experience of working for or with you and your team.
However, there is a misconception that the core values themselves create company culture. It’s the decisions and interactions of the PEOPLE of your company that create the culture of your business.
In order for you to shape the culture of your company, you must hire to your established core values and then evaluate your company and team members’ performance against the standards you have established.
In fact, every company has core values, whether you have documented them or not!
If you have an established business you just need to look to your company culture to identify the core values on which your business is built. This culture was established by the decisions you have made and the standards you have used to create your results to date.
But don’t worry if you are not pleased with the current culture of your company. Changes to company culture can be made by HIRING employees or STAFFING your next project using the new values you want to establish as an identifying tool for your ideal candidates.
And the good news? You do not have to hire a fancy marketing company or research group to come in and analyze you or your business to decide which values you should establish and mandate as “core.”
All you need to do is pick the values important to you! It really is that simple.
Let me give you an example of the core values I have identified as important to me:
- Be an example of what is possible.
- Be Fun
- Act with Integrity
- Be authentic
- Be blue collar
The value “Be an Example of What is Possible” aligns with the purpose I’ve chosen in life and the vision for my company. I want every future employee and me to do our jobs as an example of what is possible for those jobs.
I want to do my job better than anyone in the Universe has ever done that job and provoke inspiration and action for others including and especially for my children!
If an employee came in and said she could barely keep up with the job, then I would know right away it’s not a good fit for her.
The value “Be Fun” shows up in both the work I chose and the joking around and lightness I am planning for when I interact with team members each day.
If a project is not fun, or I cannot figure out how to make the necessary action steps to achieve my goal fun, then it’s a NO! Period.
Life is too short to be unhappy, plus I’ve learned that the roads to my successes have never been paved with misery. It simply does not work!
But “Be Fun” also means I don’t want to work with someone who is not enjoying themselves. I plan to hire and evaluate progress using fun as a metric of success.
The value “Integrity” means if I say I am going to do something, I do it (and if I can’t figure out how to make the process FUN, then I won’t say I will do it again).
The value “Be Authentic” I will use authenticity as a paradigm for all front-facing branding, marketing, and project decisions.
The value “Be Blue Collar” means that there is no job too big for me (or for a future team member). I plan to work more than I talk about working and perform every job in my company before I ask someone else to do so. The focus will be on results and delivering value to customers and not team politics or job descriptions.
Your Company Core Values should be published and reviewed by all team members on a regular basis, perhaps in quarterly results reviews.
Include your Core Values in your employee handbook, and with your Brand Story and Brand Guide as a reference for any contract service providers with whom you might work so that you can be sure that all work created for your business is in line with your vision and your company culture is one you enjoy.
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