Can you, as a leader, say “yes” to these questions? If a new customer walked into your business today, would they be able to identify your corporate values? Do your employees know and implement your values every day at work? It may seem like knowing the company values should be obvious or inherent but, often, employees and leaders have only a vague idea about their company’s values. Knowing and being able to speak to those values is important not only for company culture, but for your company’s bottom line.
While statistics never tell the “whole picture”, here are some reasons why defined company values are important:
- More than 50% of leaders say corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value, and growth rates (Forbes)
- 76% of employees believe that well-defined business goals help cultivate a positive work culture (Bultin)
- 88% of employees believe strong company culture is key to business success (Bultin)
- 47% of active job seekers cite company culture as their driving reason for looking for work (Pivotal Advisors)
- 15% of job seekers turned down a job because of the company’s culture (Jobvite)
- Employees who don’t like their company’s culture are 24% more likely to quit their jobs (TINYpulse)
- Actively disengaged employees cause U.S. companies between $450 – $550 billion in lost productivity per year (Zippia)
Company values are an important part of overall company culture. Having a clear set of values will help your employees understand what the company stands for while giving them guidance in their work and a sense of security. As a result, your employees will make better decisions that align with the company’s vision and goals. In fact, establishing and emphasizing your company values can have a positive impact in every area of your business.
Values and Communication
Communication is important in any kind of relationship, including between employers and employees. Communication plays an important role in better company culture, improving job satisfaction, and increasing employee engagement. When an employer doesn’t have clear company values, communication with employees usually suffers, which can lead to confusion and frustration in the workplace. With clear company values, you’re helping your employees understand and implement them every day.
Values and Employee Engagement
When your employee communication is built around your core company values, it boosts employee engagement. Explaining your company values to employees, and your reasons behind them, gives them a better understanding of your company’s goals and they will work diligently to achieve them. Engaged employees are the ones that have clear understanding of what is expected from them and how to achieve your business goals. They are also the ones who share and believe in your company values and naturally incorporate them into their work.
Values and Clients
Values aren’t just for management and employees; it’s important for your clients to know and understand your core values as well. When you define your company values, you’re clarifying the identity of your brand and educating clients about what your company stands for. Having a set of specific, and unique, core values can give your company a competitive advantage by building relationships with clients who share those values. You also have the potential to attract new clients who choose your company over another because they resonate with your values.
Values and Hiring
While there are many reasons job seekers apply to open positions, your company values will attract potential candidates who like your company’s mission and values. Most candidates extensively research a company before applying to open positions to help them decide if you’re the “right” employer. They check your website, social media, local news articles, and company reviews. As an employer, you also want to make sure that you hire the best person for the position and company. When you’re interviewing candidates about their qualifications and references, you should also be asking questions about their values. This is key in not only hiring the right candidate for your company’s culture, but in keeping them.
Values and Marketing
It would be difficult for your marketing and internal communications teams to send out appropriate messaging without having a strong understanding of your company values. To be credible, your internal and external communications need be in harmony. Companies without set, clear company values usually struggle with their communication strategies. As for marketing, knowing what the company stands for is integral in attracting new leads and clients.
Define Company Values
Defining your company values is important, but personal. You’re deciding what is important to your company not only for your image, but in how it will affect your company’s culture and how your employees interact with each other and your clients. The list of values is extensive, some of which include: Integrity, honesty, accountability, fun, balance, fairness, teamwork, and so on.
Your company values should help you support your employees so that they can be successful at work. Since these values affect all aspects of your business, communicating them to your employees and clients is vital. How you communicate them, however, matters. Rather than a one-time training or passive website statement, company values should be posted in the workplace and be a part of your internal and external communications. This creates synergy, a sense of commitment, and improves employee engagement.
COVID-19 has drastically disrupted the way businesses are functioning and shaken the confidence of employers and employees alike. This global pandemic is providing an opportunity for companies to reflect on which values continue to forward the culture of the organization. It isn’t enough to write your company values down; you must prove to your employees and clients that you live by them – even in stressful or peak performance periods. To build, or regain, your employees’ and clients’ trust, it may be appropriate to asses your core company values and honestly evaluate your company’s commitment to them to decide if changes need to be made.
To do that, you must first know and understand your company’s core values. Can you name the top three? Can you name them easily? If not, let’s chat.