Today’s topic is the power of creating, articulating, and ingraining core values or underlying principles within your company or organization.
Now, I would say that many people, to some degree, consider this process a waste of time. The reason is that they’ve gone through similar exercises before, but they really haven’t been part of a process that creates as well as ingrains core values in the culture of the company. It is so very powerful, and there are many benefits to investing time in understanding core values – creating, articulating, and repeating them:
1. It actually saves the company a ton of money in the long run, and here’s why: If there’s a clear articulation of the company’s core values, and the existing employees live them out, new applicants going through the hiring process will either be attracted or repulsed by them. As a result, you’re going to get applicants who are better-suited for your organization, and your retention rate will be higher. In other words, you can reduce the cost of employee turnover greatly by bringing on people who are true believers of your core values.
2. Having the core values articulated and repeated creates more energy and more of a fun place to work. It motivates people. Some of us are motivated by a cause or a purpose, something greater than ourselves. For many, that’s the main thing that motivates them. Therefore, if your employees are in line with your core values, and they believe in the vision of the company, they’ll be more motivated.
Also, this’ll help find and attract the client base that you want to work with. When you have these core values and underlying principles ingrained in your marketing and sales process, you’ll be able to more easily attract people that fit within the mold. They’ll be easier to work with because they get what you’re doing. It’ll take less to convert them from prospects to paying customers. And so that’s another benefit of core values.
Next, there are 3 steps you have to take in order to make this happen within your company:
1. Carve out time to get together with your leadership team. Or if you’re a one-person show, do this by yourself. I suggest using an outside coach or consultant to help you go through this process.
2. Ask each person in the group to independently write what they believe are the core values or underlying principles of the company. This can be done on paper or electronically, but don’t let people share their answers yet.
3. Once everyone’s finished, have each person share their answers with the group. Certain underlying principles are going to come to the forefront, and there’ll be some things that mesh. It’s almost like a discovery process, not a creation process. You’re going to discover what the values really are. Then, you can tweak them as a team and write them down so they feel more real to your company.
Put the core values aside for a few weeks. And next time you and your leadership team meet, you can more clearly define the values or tweak them even further since you’ve had time to reflect.
Once you get the core values in place, go through them during every meeting. A different member of your team can repeat them until everyone has them memorized. Also, it’s a great idea to take that information and put it on a board everyone can see as soon as they walk into the office. Or, you can put it somewhere electronically so your team members can access it consistently. Reinforce the core values until everyone knows them like the back of their hand.
Go ahead and take action. Make these core values a part of your process today!