Phrases like “Our employees are our greatest asset” have become ubiquitous in management talks. But are these words true? Not always. Mere words mean nothing – they can express certain values, but values are meaningless if they aren’t enshrined in a company’s practices. Actions are always louder than words.
Organizational values are abstract ideas that guide your company’s thinking and actions. They represent the foundations of a company and are an essential part of its corporate culture.
Quite often, organizational values are rather implied than expressly defined and develop organically over time from the cumulative characters of the workers and their actions. However, establishing well-defined values is of great interest to every company. Not only are organizational values helpful in motivation, but they also provide a guideline for making decisions in all the aspects of your business. By simply answering the question: “Does this decision reflect our values?” every worker can consciously choose the best option and hold himself accountable for it.
There are numerous examples of organizational values: equality, loyalty, diversity, empathy, integrity, efficiency, flexibility, discipline, etc. However, defining values is not enough – they matter only when you employ them. Practice what you preach, they say. 🙂
If a company establishes integrity as one of its core values, it is crucial for its workers to always be sincere both among themselves and with the customer. If there is any quality problem in the development process, the customer should be honestly informed of its exact nature.
If a firm claims that its most important asset is its workers, the management should invest in them accordingly – provide them with health insurance, regular raises, and bonuses for dedicated staff.
While some companies see a great benefit in establishing corporate values, others believe that it’s of no use and is a simple waste of money. Here are the main reasons why you should define core organizational values:
1. They help employees make better decisions
When there is a clear set of values, every employee understands what to stand for. Apart from guidance, values give workers a sense of security.
2. They boost employee motivation and engagement
Indeed, if organizational values are defined and properly communicated, employees will know what their goals are and will work harder towards achieving them.
3. Values may help to attract and retain top talent
Companies that have a well-defined set of corporate values find it easier to hire and retain talented people. An established image creates a strong positive impression when candidates research information about the company they are applying to.
4. A company with established values attracts clients with similar vision
In addition to candidates, potential new clients also care about what your company stands for. When your company’s values resonate with those of a client, you have a much bigger chance of being chosen over someone else.
5. Established values boost the quality of marketing and internal communications
Defined corporate values help to clearly communicate both with the inside and outside worlds. Clear internal communication results in better employee engagement while consistent marketing is more successful in attracting new leads and customers.
Although seems quite easy, finding and establishing values is not a piece of cake. In order to understand and define corporate values, and then gauge their influence on the firm, managers must thoroughly examine how the firm operates and what it wants to achieve. Defining corporate mission and vision may be really helpful in the process.
However, unless you support and nurture the values, the whole identifying and developing process will have been just wasted time. Employees might feel fooled and misled if they don’t see any effect from setting up values. So, if you want your values to really matter, ensure the following:
Defining corporate values benefits every company – it helps to motivate personnel, set guidelines for decision making, and attract clients. However, you should remember that for values to work, they must be not only properly communicated, but also visible in everyday activities.
At Idealogic, we praise empathy, responsibility for the final result, and transparency. We set high standards and are accountable for every decision. And this is not empty talk for us – we truly believe that actions are always louder than words.