Values Create Value
When we think about a company's value, we often think about it in monetary terms – what the company is worth. While these values are important in running a business, the real focus should be on the core values of the company. These fundamental values are perpetual and at the heart of an organization. Unlike the financial worth of a company that fluctuates with the ever-changing economy, core values should be concrete and enduring.
Core values are the building blocks of your organization. When you define, understand and believe in your company's values, it liberates you. It allows you to have a greater focus on your company's vision and mission, and helps you to accomplish what you set out to do.
This was my first undertaking when creating upLIFT, my most crucial deliverable.
It is not enough to simply state your company's core values. If you are not willing to live by them, communicate them, deliver upon them, and embed them into your company's culture, then this is merely an exercise. You need the valiancy to live by these principles in all aspects of your business: every decision-making process, hiring, systems, performance management, etc.
At some point, these values may seem like a competitive disadvantage to you. For example, your values may not mesh with every client, and therefore, you will turn some clients away. However, this narrowed vision and focus actually solidifies your company’s values and leads you towards fulfilling your business goals.
Core Values vs. Cultural Fit
There is an important distinction when discussing core values and “cultural fit”. Included within a company's core values are the attitudes and behaviors expected of employees. This is not to suggest that you hire folks that are replicas of each other. On the contrary, you need to hire employees who can contribute varying skills and creative ideas, and take different approaches to the same issues.
When hiring, pinpoint skill gaps and hire those who bring originality and are highly tolerant of others' thought processes and ideas. A thriving culture is one with strong core values, embraced by employees who have very different personalities, approaches and views.
Why are Core Values So Important?
-When employees are participating in something bigger than themselves, they make real connections. They feel inspired and want to inspire others. They understand the “why” of key decisions and begin to lead and motivate others. This alignment helps the company achieve their overall mission. When infused into the infrastructure of your business, a greater sense of unity and purpose is felt.
-When recruiting talent, you will also attract talent with similar values. The right folks will want to work at a company with “soul” and one that they can trust.
-Employees feel a greater conviction to authentically build the brand’s value and uniqueness to all stakeholders. When people truly believe in something, they will deliver their messages passionately.
-When an employee's personal values are compatible with an organization's values, retention rate increases. Conversely, where there is a disparity between these values, the employee has less of a desire to stay with the company, and retention rate decreases.
- Companies tend to attract clients with similar values.
-Your company's reputation and profitability rely on consumer trust. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers refuse to buy products and services from a company they do not trust, while 58% will criticize that organization to a friend or colleague. (Edelman 2015 Trust Barometer, January 2015)
I would love to hear more about your company's values. Do you think most of your employees embrace them? Have you hired the right employees who share your values? Do your values create value?
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