Corporate values – or core values, dictate how you hire people, how you change behaviour, and are the foundation your company culture is built on.
Core values provide clarity – a final should/shouldn’t test for all behaviours and decisions made by everyone. Managers and leaders should be able to operate by the philosophy that “if you need to ask me permission for something, just consult the core values”. If the values are a living, breathing entity, then management can trust employees will know the right thing to do when faced with a decision or moral choice.
Using your values in this way means company leaders are removed from many smaller, operational decisions.
When creating values that define your company’s culture and personality, use phrases. For example, Gravitas Impact’s core values include, ‘WE WIN TOGETHER OR WE DON’T PLAY’ and ‘CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR’.
Establishing a living, breathing company personality is a process of discovery that will take your organisation several years. It is important to remember that your core values are not an over-priced, well-researched, over-consulted, list of nice-to-have platitudes with no real relevance to your business. Also, avoid cliche words like honesty, respect, innovation.
To define your company’s values – don’t carve anything in stone too soon. List what you believe them to be and then test their validity for a year. Ask your team, through all levels, to provide examples of people living the values – if they are not, then maybe you have a wish-list item. Change it, refine it, test it and find values that truly reflect the real values of your business.
Learn more about about defining core values and their relevance to your bottom line and strategic business growth.
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