Cultures around the world place value on different aspects of life. Some cultures tend to place a high value on consistent hard work, while others prioritize family and leisure time. The same concept can be applied to companies. Because the personal values of company leaders vary widely, their company values will inevitably follow suit.
For a company’s leaders, management, and staff to all stay on the same page, they must be operating with a common set of values. If a business doesn’t have any stated values to refer to, it can result in utter chaos and misalignment. Here are just a few ways that clearly stated company values benefit a business.
Hiring to Fit the Team
When looking for new hires, experience and skills are often given the most weight in the decision-making process. In my opinion, this shouldn’t be the case. Everyone has the ability to learn and hone their craft. It’s more important to find employees whose values align with those of the company. Unlike skills, values aren’t something that can be picked up along the way.
Your company values will help guide hiring decisions so that you find the best fit rather than just the most impressive resume. This leads to happier employees, higher retention rates, and a harmonious work environment.
Widely Understood Standards
Company values can help to bring clarity to so many areas of your business. If an employee’s behavior isn’t up to your standards, it’s likely because it’s not in alignment with one or more of your company values. You can use these values to correct behavior through productive conversations rather than what might be perceived as judgmental accusations.
In addition, core values can help guide big decisions such as mergers or new products. Would the results of these decisions be in alignment with your current company values? If not, what are your reasons for pursuing them?
Guide Your Corporate Culture
I like to emphasize the importance of corporate culture, and company values are the framework that guides decisions pertaining to that culture. Without a clear understanding of your company’s values, there’s no way to create a culture that promotes them. It’s as simple as that.
Many people misunderstand the meaning of a company’s culture. They think it’s mainly the layout of the office or staff outings or a casual dress code. While these can be elements of culture, the core of the culture lies in the values it is meant to convey.
For example, staff outings may reflect a company’s core values of teamwork and trust. A more relaxed dress code may be meant to make employees more comfortable and promote open informal communication. It all comes back to what you value.
Differentiate Your Brand
In today’s expansive marketplace, your company values can set you apart from the competition. When you share your values with your customers, they know what to expect from you. These expectations also provide another source of accountability for you and your employees, which is never a bad thing!