Values are, with vision, the glue that keeps a business and employees together. If you don’t have a clear set of values for your business think back to why the business was started in the first place.
What were the dreams that got the business off the ground? What are the goals that you are striving to achieve? What does success look like to you? Make sure you involve your employees if you have some.
If you’re in need of extra inspiration, looking at the values of aspirational companies can be a great start. Try looking at the values of companies within a similar industry, or ones who’ve achieved the kind of goals you’re striving towards.
But remember: only use these for inspiration. Your values need to be unique and tailored to your company and your people if they’re going to be effective.
Have an example or a bit more information for each value. Examples make your values more personal to your company and can really help current employees to understand how they should be using them in their everyday lives. They also help potential employees understand how the business operates and if they’re a good cultural fit.
Examples of company values:
If you haven’t defined your values yet, this list might make you realise how you’re already operating under some unspoken values. If that’s true for your business – it’s time to make a note of them and share them with the rest of the team.
But remember, you need to stay authentic to your company.
Take another look at that list of example company values. They’re great company values – and if they represent you, your employees and your business – use them. If they don’t, and you think they just sound like “the right kind of thing”, those values aren’t going to properly represent your business. In that case, they won’t have any impact, so steer clear of adopting them for the sake of it. Mismatched company values can undermine the credibility of your organisation if they don’t seem in line with your actions.
As your business grows, so should your values.
As your company grows and develops, it’s important to keep developing your values. Although you always want to remain close to your original values – growth and development is important.
Creating a company culture around your core values
Remember: it’s not just a case of ticking ‘company values’ off the to-do list, and never thinking about them again.
For values to be effective, they need to be actively practised and put at the heart of each person’s actions within the company, every day. This helps build a strong company culture based on values.
Set goals based on values
One way to do this is to set goals to see if your business is following its values. For example, if one of your values is ‘quality’, you could set a goal of improving the quality score on customer reviews each month. By measuring employee performance against company values, it reinforces their importance and helps to ensure performance is going in the direction you want.
Using customer surveys can be a great way to find out if your organisation is sticking to its values. By asking customers if they feel like the service and/or products they are receiving reflect certain values, you find out from the people who matter most if your company’s values are on show throughout customer experience.
Hire in line with your values
Not only should values be referred to in performance reviews, but core values should be considered from the application stage for new employees.
If you want your company culture to represent your values, you need to consider this within the hiring process – be sure to look out for potential employees who understand and reflect your values.
You can do this by listing your values in job descriptions, posting them on your website so potential employees who are researching your company can see what you are all about, and asking questions about them in interviews.
But the emphasis on values shouldn’t stop at the recruitment stage. Company values need to be communicated and reinforced throughout the onboarding stage too, to ensure that those joining the company know how your values shape your company culture.
Form your business around them
All elements of your business, such as working hours, employee benefits and even the workspace environment, should also represent your values. Design your policy in line with your values to create a culture which properly represents them.
For example, if one of your values is ‘trust’, it should be ingrained in how your employees are managed. Trust can be shown through flexible working hours, the ability to work from home, or with policies against micromanagement. This helps to create a culture of trust, as employees feel that they are trusted by their managers and vice-versa.
Creating a culture book for your business can be a great way to define your company culture and the values included within this. Putting all the elements that make up your culture in writing – including the business story, mission, values, your culture and valued habits – helps make it clear what your business is all about.
This is not only important for your employees, but it can really paint a clear picture of where you’ve come from, and where you want to go for every single person inside and outside of the company.
Keep your values fresh in the minds of your employees.
If you develop your core values, announce them to the business and then never mention them again – you’ve wasted your time.
You need to remind your employees of your company values every day. Keeping your values fresh in their minds is the key to keeping your company culture alive.
A simple way to do this is to give reward and recognition for good work, in line with your values.
You can also benchmark against company values during employee performance reviews and discuss what could be done with employees to display these further.
Another way to remind your employees is to show off your values. When you’ve worked so hard to find values that represent your business and what you aspire to, you should shout about them! You can post them on your walls, on your social media channels, and use them in your employee communication.
Keeping your values fresh in the minds of your employees helps them stick and creates a strong company culture around them.
If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more advice, contact our experts* Michelle and Lee at Pro-Development:
01904 628838 https://www.pro-development.co.uk/
*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.