Core values in an organization are what helps support the vision, culture and overall company principles. Values are the essence of the business’s uniqueness, philosophies, beliefs and attitude of standards. Plus, establishing strong core values provides internal and external advantages. Corporate values help companies in the decision-making processes too; for example, if one of the values is to stand behind the quality of your products, any products not reaching the satisfactory standard are to be eliminated.
Core values educate clients, potential customers, shareholders, partners, employees and future employees about what the company is all about and helps clarify the identity of the company. Not only do core values help in this competitive world by helping define a company but they serve as a primary recruiting and retention tool. With the ease of researching companies, job seekers are doing their homework on the identities of the companies and they are applying for and weighing whether or not they are a good fit for the business.
Now the question is: “How do I find the core values of my company?” Core values are not meant to be picked out of thin air and are usually not the same across a particular industry. When picking core values, they have to be true and authentic to your business goals, morals and employees.
After discussing why core values are so important, the next question may be: what do core values look like? Below is a list of 10 core values that are common across organizations in different industries (courtesy of 7geese.com):
- Accountability – Acknowledging and assuming responsibility for actions, products, decisions and policies with a sense of urgency.
- Balance – Taking a proactive attitude to create and maintain a healthy work-life balance for employees.
- Commitment – Committing to creating great products, offering great service and other initiatives that impact lives within and outside the organization.
- Community – Contributing to society and representing corporate social responsibility.
- Diversity – Establishing an employee equity program.
- Empowerment – Encouraging employees to take initiative and give the best.
- Innovation – Pursuing new creative ideas.
- Integrity – Acting with honesty and integrity.
- Ownership – Taking care of the company and customers as they were one’s own.
- Safety – ensuring the health and safety of employees.
What are your business’s core values?