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Blog>Guides>How to Promote Company Core Values

How to Promote Company Core Values

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Core values are vital, indispensable contributors to a company’s success. Because values help define an organization’s identity and culture, they are important to small businesses, multinational corporations, and nonprofits alike.

It’s essential, therefore, to put in place core values for your company that reflect the organization and its people. Employers must define their core values and promote them so that the entire organization lives up to its stated goals.

Why Are Company Core Values Important?

A company’s core values are the foundation of its culture — the guiding principles that guide employees in their day-to-day work, decision-making, and interactions with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. These values also define what the company stands for and believes in — in short, what its goals are.

Company core values help define what makes your business unique. Unique values differentiate your organization from competitors and provide a framework for developing strategies to grow the business. Core values also provide an ethical framework on which decisions are made within the organization. Most importantly, core values keep employees united and focused on their collective mission.

How Many Core Values Should a Company Have?

Core values are the beliefs that define your company's identity. As such, they are often referenced in organizational mission statements, advertisements, and interviews with company founders. They are also often expressed through a company's product or service offerings.

There’s no definitive number of core values every company should have. However, a few guidelines can help determine the values you choose for your company:

  • Ensure the core values apply to everyone in your company. Values are not created for the leadership team or human resources staff alone. Rather, they need to be useful for each person in your organization. Keep the entire workforce in mind when defining values.

  • Keep values actionable. Give clear direction on how employees can best uphold your organization's culture and values so that these are continuously reinforced in day-to-day operations. Employee surveys can be helpful to determine whether or not workers feel their efforts directly support these stated goals.

  • Make values measurable. As you set short-term goals, make sure they reflect the company values in a measurable way. If, for example, a company value is to provide great service, set a service target goal, whether that’s a time frame for responding to customer inquiries or an average rating for services rendered. This will help make your core values tangible to your employees, motivating them toward actions that directly support those values.

  • Keep values short and concise. Long paragraphs are not as easy to remember and keep top of mind. By using pithy phrases to name your core values, you’ll be able to ensure that the values remain memorable.

How to Promote Your Company's Core Values to Employees

Once you've determined your company's core values, make sure they are known and understood by all stakeholders. These will include your employees, customers or clients, investors, board members, vendors, and suppliers — as well as the broader community in which your company is located or serves. Here are key methods you can use to communicate your core values.

  • Create an organizational understanding of core values. A critical part of promoting company values is ensuring that every person in the organization has a complete understanding of what these values are. Ask employees to weigh in on the company’s core values, allowing everyone a chance to contribute their ideas and discuss how they relate to one another. This will help ensure that all employees understand what traits make up the culture of your organization and can also give insight into how others perceive those traits within themselves.

  • Provide tangible examples. Values can seem like vague aspirational statements unless they are connected to real-life actions. To bring company values to life, highlight specific examples where these qualities have been exhibited by employees or customers over time — either recently or historically. This will help reinforce value-positive behaviors that benefit both employees and the employer.

  • Connect back to the purpose. After defining what makes up a healthy work environment based on shared values between employees, explain why it is necessary to uphold these values by pointing out problems and challenges that can arise. For example, when employees don’t share common values, their ability to work together is weakened. Company values are essential in uniting all members of the workforce toward a common goal.

Conclusion

Core values act much like the firm foundation from which an organization can build. They are an essential tool that allows employees to work together synergistically by focusing the members of an organization toward a common purpose, empowering them to become more productive and to act with a greater purpose. These actions, in turn, help improve employee retention and satisfaction rates — thereby boosting the employer’s brand and reputation.

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