Core values represent a company’s heart. While some organizations understand their core values intimately, others struggle to put them into practice. No matter what a company’s relationship to their core values looks like, leaders can always work to improve their understanding and utilization of this key element of management.
The Benefits of Core Values
A company’s core values are the principles that guide everything they do. Core values can:
Distinguish a Company’s Identity
A company that understands what it cares about can show how it is unique. When clients, potential customers, and workers all know what a company stands for, the organization increases its competitiveness as both an employer and in the marketplace.
Improve Recruiting and Retention
Employees often want to work at organizations whose core values align with their own. “Employers,” Forbes says, “should trade 90 percent talent for just 10 percent character.” When companies clearly outline their core values, it makes it easier to attract like-minded people who fit in with the company culture; this leads to greater productivity. A company that consistently adheres to its core values also demonstrates integrity, something that can encourage employees to stay even when things get tough.
Holding employees to a company standard can help shape the way they do their jobs. When company values are defined and enforced, it can inspire workers to hold themselves to a higher standard. It also makes employee criticism a matter of living up to those values, rather than a personal attack.
Help in Decision-Making Processes
Understanding a company’s principles can help make choices easier to make. For example, if making high-quality products is a core value, anything not made up to par can be thrown out.
Shape Organizational Culture
When companies hire, operate, and hold themselves accountable to a certain standard, it sets the tone for what type of work environment they offer. This allows a company to continue performing at a high level even when circumstances, employees, and leadership change.
Contribute to the Overall Success of a Company
Ideally, core values are never compromised. Whatever cultural standards a company sets for itself, it should hold them well — and indefinitely. Doing so leads to better outcomes in marketing, human resources, and product creation. These elements, of course, contribute to a company’s overall success.
Understanding the worth of using core values isn’t enough, however. To truly benefit from them, effective practices must be set in place.