What are your Company’s Core Values and Why Are They Important?

What does a company stand for? What values do its employees embody?

What do its products contribute to the world?

Answering these questions succinctly, but meaningfully is challenging but worth pursuing for the companies that craft “Core Value” statements to anchor their business in a set of commonly-held beliefs and commitments.

These statements become the deeply ingrained principle and fabric that guide employee behavior and company decisions and actions—the behaviors the company and employees expect of themselves

Core values are what support the vision, shape the culture and reflect what a company values. They are the very essence of the company’s identity – the principles, beliefs or philosophy of values. Many companies focus mostly on the technical competencies (see my previous article) but often forget what are the underlying competencies that make their companies run smoothly — core values.

Establishing strong core values provides both internal and external advantages to the company:

Core values help companies in the decision-making processes. For example, if one of your core values is to stand behind the quality of your products, any products not reaching the satisfactory standard are automatically eliminated.
Core values educate clients and potential customers about what the company is about and clarify the identity of the company. Especially in this competitive world, having a set of specific core values that speak to the public is definitely a competitive advantage.
Core values are becoming primary recruiting and retention tools. With the ease of researching companies, job seekers are doing their homework on the identities of the companies they are applying for and weighing whether or not these companies hold the values that the job seekers consider as important.

So what are some great Core Value examples?

Core Values shouldn’t just be words, they should lead to stories – the following Core Values belong to CultureShoc a Cleveland based consultancy and coaching company:

BE A BUFFALO – A buffalo and a cow look very similar, but whereas a cow runs FROM a storm, a buffalo runs INTO a storm. It passes through to the other side a lot more quickly than the cow that is running with the storm.

UNCOMMON LEADERSHIP – Lead authentically and without ego, and lead from where you are.

RELENTLESS GROWTH – If you stop learning and growing, you’ll die.

OWN SUCCESS – Make it happen, don’t wait for someone else to do it, don’t apologize for wins and celebrate the success.

SouthWest Airlines has

WARRIOR SPIRIT – Work Hard; Desire to the best; Be courageous; Display a sense of urgency; Persevere; Innovate.

SERVANT’S HEART – Follow the Golden Rule; Adhere to the Basic Principles; Treat others with respect; Put others first; Be egalitarian; Demonstrate proactive customer service; Embrace the SWA Family.

FUN LUV-ING ATTITUDE – Have FUN; Don’t take yourself too seriously; Maintain perspective (balance); Celebrate successes; Enjoy your work; Be a passionate Team player.

Next month we will see how to incorporate Core Values in to your company’s Vision and Mission structure.

If you would like help developing your company’s Core Values, please call Simon (440-385-6737) for a complimentary meeting.