Company culture is the personality of your business and workplace environment. What builds that personality is the core values of a business. Put these values into action and you’ll see them reflected in your employees and throughout the business itself. Thus, creating a company culture.
Your core values are the beliefs and attitudes most important to your company. With them, you can set up an effective foundation that will shape how your business operates and all future business development.
For a business, you really only need four or five values. Honesty, integrity, passion, diversity… there are countless to choose from. But what’s most important is choosing ones that truly matter to your company, using them to define your company culture, and putting them into practice.
Once you have them, we suggest formatting these values into a brief description.
Take us for example:
Our brand is No Fuss Business. We started with the ideas: keep it simple, clarify, no judgement, approachable, and make the customer comfortable. Then, we combined them to create a core value that summarises what we’re all about (and we practice it in our work every day).
No Fuss: just the fix, none of the fuss. We’re approachable and we like to keep it simple.
By instilling core values in your team you’re supporting them to make smarter decisions that fit the business and treat customers as you want them treated. So get them up on your wall! Make them visible in your business, discuss them in team meetings, and reward employees for performance that’s representative of the values.
On top of that, why not host a core values development session with your team (our service) to get everyone involved in developing/updating company values? It’s a great way for them to bond, generate buy-in, and discuss real-life examples of behaviour that reflects the values.
Finally, you can also use core values to manage staff performance. How? If an employee’s behaviour isn’t living up to set values, it’s much easier to address and teach the employee what you expect of them. We embed ours in our job descriptions to set expectations from the start.
When making business decisions, such as finding solutions for customers, core values are great to turn to for guidance.
For example, our summarised core value is that we are No Fuss: just the fix, none of the fuss. We’re approachable and we like to keep it simple.
So for us, if the solution isn’t simple and easy for the customer then we haven’t made the right choices.
When looking at a potential employer, applicants often check out the company values to see if they fit with their own. These can often be found by browsing their website, but also in job descriptions.
By having yours in place, you’re sure to stand out from other employers and appeal to like-minded people who would make a great fit for your company.
Core values don’t only drive employee behaviour and business decisions. They can also be just as effective when used with customers/clients.
We achieve this by identifying our values in our proposals. Here we ask that clients respect and abide by them. In this way, if we have a difficult client, we have the means to discuss this with them to find a resolution.
Values can, of course, also be used indirectly to solve customer issues. In the face of a difficult situation, it’s never a bad idea to turn to your core values for guidance in decision-making.
Ever wonder what makes potential clients/customers opt for you? It’s likely because your brand appears confident and consistent and is therefore trustworthy.
Introducing core values and company culture is a great way to create this powerful brand identity; whether done by shaping your tone of voice, brand image, or marketing style.
So don’t be fooled by the playful nature of core values and company culture. They mightn’t be as traditional as other business elements, like KPIs, but they will certainly be a key force in setting your business apart from the rest.