Core values impact business decisions, the company’s culture, and its image.
We all conduct ourselves by a set of values. Values are based on the beliefs and philosophies that we have cultivated through life experiences. Like personal values, a business should conduct itself by its values.
What are company core values
The company’s core values is the heart of a business. They are the principles it adheres to and will not compromise.
For example, here are Starbucks’ values.
Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
Delivering our absolute best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
Acting with courage, challenging the status quo, and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity, and respect.
As you read the example above, take note of how meaningful, active, and well defined they are. Keep this in mind when deciding your company’s core values. Later, you will name and define the principles that your company will stand for.
Your values statement, along with your vision, and mission statements are the driving force that keeps your business on course.
Establishing your company values should come before writing your vision and mission statements. Because it supports the development of both.
How core values benefit your company
• Makes business decisions easier
• Produces a company culture of unity
• Increases customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty
• Distinguishes brand identity
Using core values for business decisions
By using your company values as the parameters to make business decisions, you will align and stay true to the brand’s identity. Basing your decisions on the core values helps to clarify your decisions and keeps you from damaging your reputation.
Here is an example of using company values for decision-making.
Mike Upton is the supply buyer for Fellowship Bistro. The values of Fellowship Bistro are community, quality, and reliability. They are looking for a specialty coffee supplier to contract. There are two coffee roasters he is considering, Dodge Roasters and Supreme Coffee Roasters.
Both roasters are local and have quality products. However, Mike discovers that Dodge Roasters have a reputation for not fulfilling orders on time. So, he drops them from consideration.
By sticking to the values, you will keep your business decisions from straying off course.
Besides guiding your decisions, core values nurture the development of the company.
The company values cultivate a dynamic culture
It is important for a company to communicate its values throughout the organization. Likewise, emphasize there will be no tolerance for compromising them. This sets the standards of conduct for everyone, which nurtures organizational unity.
For one, it puts everyone on the same page of expected conduct. Two, it encourages cooperation and teamwork amongst the staff. Three, when employees have unity, they are more effective in getting results.
You should communicate the company’s values to your employees. Explain to them why they are important and the importance of why to adhere to them. This will give them a better understanding of the company’s identity and the conduct expected from them. This encourages the team to work together to achieve the company’s goal of building customer trust.
Queen and Avo Hewitt conducted a ten-year study in Canada on companies with engaging and disengaged employees. They found that companies with engaged employees were 15% more productive and they had a 26% lower employee turnover. In addition, they found that companies with engaged employees have up to 30% better customer satisfaction.
Core values build customer trust
A company’s reputation and character are based on how it conducts business. The conduct of the company comes from holding themselves accountable to their values.
The values must have real meaning. Businesses should not use the values for marketing fluff or political correctness.
Let’s consider the coffee roasters from earlier. They both are business-to-business vendors and claim to support Free-Trade farmers. Remember, one value Fellowship Bistro has is community.
During Mike’s inquiries about the origins of their coffee beans, he discovers that Dodge Roasters buys their beans from a producer who takes advantage of farmers by paying them low wages. In contrast, he finds that Superior Coffee Roasters buys direct from independent farmers and pays them a fair market value for their product.
Which vendor do you think Mike will choose?
People lose customer confidence when a company’s conduct does not align with the values they claim. But when the conduct does align, they gain customer trust and distinguish the brand’s identity.
Values give the company its identity
You show people who you are and what you stand for when you are consistent with the messaging and implementation of your core values.
Your core values influence how the public views your brand and whether they will trust doing business with you.
Consumers are more likely to become customers when your values resonate with them. It also increases the likelihood of them returning as repeat customers.
How to choose the core values
The company’s core values are the life force of the organization.
When considering your company’s values, it is important to involve the key people in the company when choosing the values. They are the founders and CEOs who have an invested interest in the company’s success.
As a group, list the values you want, define them, and write the reason they are important. Then boil it down to three-five core values that will stand for the company’s brand. These will be the concrete principles the company stands for and institutes as policy. This will also distinguish the company’s identity.
Also, when considering the values to choose, consider if they align with the customer’s values. The more they resonate with the consumer, the more likely you will attract them into doing business with you.
Applying company values for impact
The brand’s core values are the soul and identity of the company.
Now that you have your values in place, apply them to the daily operations of the organization. Also display the values in high-visibility areas, to maintain employees’ awareness of them.
By doing so, you will nurture a culture of unity, encourage productivity, and build customer trust.
To sum it up, having a set of guiding principles for your decisions and actions keeps your company on track. You will show company integrity, assure productivity, reduce employee turnover, and gain customer loyalty. This has a positive impact on your bottom line.
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