Company Values: More than what’s written

Anyone that runs a company should already know what company values are. Also called corporate values or core values, they are the guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that a company is built upon. These values help guide business operations and help build business & customer relationships. Values help shape the company’s mission and vision statements.

Often, they are written down and then set aside. Lost in hustle of building a business and generating an income. One prime example are the core values of communication, respect, integrity, and excellence that were stated in Enron’s 2000 annual report. Values can build a company as well as bring it crashing down.

Like many before you, you set your company values and then create your vision and mission statements based on those values. You put out the memo to everyone involved in the company. You post the mission and vision in the break room. And then you move on to generating a profit.

Do those values truly embrace what the company is about? Do you whole-heartedly embrace those values? Live, breath, and eat to those values every day, all day? What about everyone that is involved in your company?

Touting values that are not fully embraced by ALL can create distrustful and discouraged employees, alienates some of the customer base, and undermines your credibility. Pushing one’s own values can inflict pain and shame. They can limit your operations and create strong criticism for the smallest of infractions.

So, what do you do about it? How do you create a company that can add value to the community?

Create your values based on what the company adds to the lives of others. Create what the cornerstones of your company are. That which can never be compromised. What the foundation is that the company is to be built upon.

Do not base the values on behavioral and social standards of employees or aspirations.

Then you can make sure that everyone within the company has the same set of core values. And this is where it can get tricky. Do you hire random people because you need bodies? Or do you take the time to understand what it is that the employees value.

When you company values and your employees’ values are in alignment, the company becomes a place that employees love and will work hard for. It sets a precedent that customers pick up. It adds value to the entire community in which it’s based.

First and foremost, your executive team MUST always authentically embrace and display these values. Corporate values impose a set of fundamental and strategic beliefs on everyone. And if the executive team doesn’t authentically embrace them, no one will. If no one embraces your company values, what happens to your company income?

It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.

Roy E. Disney

Want to know more about the efficiency of your company values? Contact me today.