Company core values are the backbone of your business. When you articulate them and live by them, they will affect your goals, your decisions, and the bottom-line.
“Your call is important to us.”
I’d call it hilarious if it wouldn’t be so rankling.
I’m looking at you 2 Degrees, Spark, Air New Zealand, and your ‘on hold’ shenanigans.
I can’t be the only one who’s struck by the irony of the statement, when clearly they don’t give a rat’s behind about my time (60 minutes plus).
The plot thickens even further, looking at the 2 Degrees values statement.
“Customer Obsessed” lists at number 1!
And there lies the problem: SAYING ONE THING, ACTING VERY DIFFERENTLY.
It’s called lip service, tokenism and smooth talk.
And it’s an excellent way to p*ss off your customers (Surely that can’t be a good thing!).
I say it’s time to have a chat about
company core values
the impact they have on your business
how to do them right?
(Ok, Rant over. )
Why Are Company Values Important?
Simply put, core values in business are important, because they are the backbone of your entire business. Or at least they should be.
The core values in your business help with…
- Company Identity And Culture: Your company core values define the very essence of what your business stands for.
- Purpose And Direction: Your company core values also act as a compass. Not only do they help you determine if your business is on the right track. They also guide you towards fulfilling your purpose and goals. When your goals are in harmony with your core values, every action becomes a deliberate step towards fulfilling your mission.
- Business Priorities: Furthermore, when your goals align with your core values in business, it becomes easier to prioritise. It’s also much easier to evaluate opportunities when you base them on how well they align with your values. When done right, you invest your time, resources, and energy into the things that truly matter to your business.
- Resilience in business: Inevitably, in business, you’ll bump into obstacles, setbacks, and unforeseen circumstances at some stage. It’s the nature of the game. But when your goals are rooted in your core values, you have a solid foundation to fall back on during challenging times. As with opportunities, your company core values provide a compass to navigate tough decisions. They help you stay true to your purpose and figure out alternative paths towards success.
But there’s more.
Core Values Build Your Brand Reputation
My above rant is a dead giveaway.
Am I feeling all warm and fuzzy about a company that leaves me hanging for 60 minutes, listening to Boh Runga on repeat? (Sorry, Boh. I actually like your music.)
The obvious answer is NO.
That’s because your core brand values play a pivotal role in shaping your brand reputation.
Fail to do it and it causes rants. (And I don’t need to point out that the word “rant” and your business name in the same sentence is not a good thing. )
So not only do you have to list your core values. You also actually have to live them.
It has everything to do with authenticity, which we dedicated an entire episode to. (You can find it here.)
When your clients notice how your actions consistently reflect your core values, trust develops. And we all know how important trust is in a customer relationship.
COMPANY CORE VALUES create TRUST creates SALES.
It's simple as that.
Use Your Company Core Values When Hiring Team Members
Does it surprise you that when you research a brand’s core values, you land on their hiring page?
I mentioned in the authenticity episode that your employees should be onboard with your values.
But it’s more than that.
When your team members see that your business upholds its company core values in every aspect of its operations, it fosters a sense of pride and belonging. I don’t know if you’ve noticed (I definitely have!), but the younger generation choose to work for a business that aligns with their value.
When your team is onboard with your core values, they become ambassadors for your brand, sharing your values with enthusiasm and dedication. Before you know it, you’ve created a positive work culture.
Articulating and Living Your Core Values
With all that said, how do you articulate your values?
As simple as this sounds, coming up with a handful of core values for your business isn’t that straightforward.
BUT I have a way of dealing with it!
As with all things overwhelming, I resort to the “salami technique”. (A.k.a. break it up in small manageable steps)
- Brainstorm. Writing a list of things that come to mind. Don’t overthink nor judge. Just start writing down all the things that are important to you. This could be things like: Integrity, fun, creativity, inclusion, warmth, courtesy, etc.
- Tie Them Up With Your Business. Reflect on your business's purpose, your vision, your value proposition (what you do). What is the ultimate reason your business exists? Add the values you feel align and support your purpose in business.
- Include The Team. If you have a small team, enlist their help. They will bring a diversity of viewpoints to the table. By the end of this, you should have a decent list of values that matter to you , your team, and your business.
- Reduce. That was the easy part. Now, go through all the potential company core values on your list and reduce the list to just 8-12. Think about the meaning of each value. How does it directly affect your business?
- Reduce Even Further. Shrink the list to 3-5 values based on how each value acts as a filter for decision-making. This is your final list of core values.
- Define Your Core Values. Describe the meaning each of these values has for your business (as opposed to what the dictionary says). This has to be clear, not cute or clever.
- Fine-Tune. Sit on them for a bit. Does it still feel good after a few days? If not, go back to the drawing board.
- Keep Them Central. In order to live your company core values, you need to display them in a place where you are constantly reminded. Every decision, every action needs to be aligned with your core values in business. To do that, you put your decisions through “The Value Filter”.
Need Some Help With That?
I realise that listening to the podcast or reading the blog may feel like everything is important (it is!), and you’re being fed all this crucial information in dribs and drabs.
But how does it all fit together?
Defining your company core values is one of the processes we work through in my “Being Boss” Programme.
It’s a 3 or 6 month One-On-One Coaching And Mentoring Programme that puts it all together. It equips you with the tools, mindset, and actionable steps needed to turn your big goals into tangible, jaw-dropping results.
Head on over to sandrajulian.co/coaching to find out more. If this calls out to you, book a call to find out if we could work together.