Company values ― also called corporate values or core values ― are a set of principles, beliefs and decisions that define who your company is. Think of your company values as your company's DNA and what makes you different from the competition in your industry. Your company values influence various aspects of your business, including business relationships, customer relationships, company growth, employees, and future hires.
Your company values will guide the many business decisions your organization makes, including product and service innovation, who you choose to hire and work with, and how you interact with customers.
5 Common Examples of Company Values
Company values span a wide range of meaningful principles. Let's look at some examples.
A company that prides itself on integrity is honest, transparent, and committed to doing what's best for its customers. Companies with integrity as a value aim to foster teams that act with integrity and honesty, and focus on putting themselves in the shoes of others.
A company that focuses on honesty as a core value recognizes the importance of having trust and respect, which creates a positive atmosphere for all. This key value drives relationships with employees, customers, and stakeholders.
Trust is all about customers believing that a particular company is providing the best product and services. Companies with trust as a core value want customers to know that they care about them and appreciate them.
Companies that value accountability are committed to their customers. That means when the company makes a mistake, they recognize it and dedicate their time to fixing it.
Organizations that embed diversity and inclusion in their company's core values recognize and embrace everyone's differences. These companies are dedicated to hiring employees from all backgrounds and creating an environment that's welcoming to all in the workplace.
The Importance of Company Values
Setting and pursuing company values matters for a number of reasons. First, they guide how everyone communicates internally and externally. Communication plays a critical role in building a better company culture, improving employee satisfaction, and increasing employee engagement.
Your company values are also important because they help your employees make the right decisions. That's because having a clear set of values helps your employees understand what you stand for, and guides their work as well as creates a sense of security.
Company values offer benefits beyond the work environment. They can help your marketing team as well. For example, marketers can create a brand voice and identity, and better define their strategies because they have a clear set of values to follow.
In addition to these benefits, company values can also:
- Boost employee motivation
- Help clients understand what your company stands for
- Help attract and retain talent
- Help attract customers that share the same values
- Help sales teams better communicate and present products or services
- Influence interaction with customers
- Guide HR teams on shaping culture, employer brand, and recruiting efforts
How to Develop Company Core Values
Now that you know what company values are, have discovered some common examples of company values, and understand why company values are important, let's take a look at how you can develop and encourage company values that make a difference.
1, Highlight What Sets Your Company Apart
Core values act as a foundation on which you make business decisions and form successful relationships. Your core values already exist. You just have to identify, define, and outline them. One way to do this is to highlight what makes your company different from your competition. What makes your company unique? Why should customers choose your business over others? Asking these types of questions can help you figure out why and how your organization is different. From there, you can get a sense of what values your business represents.
Some examples of companies with clear values and strong brands include:
2. Brainstorm with Team Members
Gather a team of employees and executives, and brainstorm a list of company values. Keep an open mind and encourage team members to share their opinions. Make a list of core values based on everyone's contribution. Then, narrow down the list to a few consensus areas.
3. Let Your Goals Naturally Define Your Values
If you have clear goals for your company, then they can help you define your values. For example, you have a clothing brand that aims to create clothing with a minimal impact on the environment. From this goal extends core values of eco-friendliness and sustainability.
4. Keep Your Values Short and to the Point
Your values should be easy to remember and adhere to. Think about the real meaning of your values and write them into short, punchy sentences that the average person can understand.
5. Put Unique Twists on Your Values
There are lots of common words and phrases that organizations use when they talk about their core values. You don't have to go that route. Instead, you can be more creative and unique with your company values. Don't be afraid to put your company personality into your values. Include what differentiates your organization from others, and bring those aspects to light in your company values.
For example, fitness software company Zen Planner’s core values spell out OHANA (it means family)!
Setting and Living Your Values
Company values are what let people know what your organization prides itself on. Your company might value honesty, integrity, and trust. Or it might value all of those things. On the other hand, your company might value something different altogether, such as fun or playfulness. So there's no right or wrong answer to setting company values. You should just make sure you clearly define them so that your team and employees have something to go by when making decisions and carrying out certain tasks.
Remember, it is critical to tie your values to behavior. People will base their opinion of your company on how your team behaves more than your stated values. Make sure you can translate your values into observable behaviors and that you reward those behaviors!
The hard work you put into creating your values will be for nothing if you don't put them into practice. Make sure you're getting your team on board and training members on how to follow your company values effectively.
At RallyBright, we aim to help your team achieve more with our proven behavioral science and professional development tools. Find out more by scheduling a free demo.