A guiding set of principles or company core values is essential to any successful private or public business as they influence a company’s culture and business strategy.
Company core values create the basis from which leaders inspire and motivate others to step forward and get involved. Your organization can engage employees, foster teamwork, influence research, and development, and provide exceptional customer support.
Before you put into practice your company’s core values, it is essential you understand what company values are and how they can benefit your organization. This article addresses company values and how philanthropic efforts help your company as a whole, including current and future employees and surrounding communities.
What are Company Values
Although it is easy to believe that core values are synonymous with company policies and procedures, they are not.
Company core values are an inherent set of principles, philosophies, or beliefs that reflect your company’s leaders’ core values. These values influence your company’s relationships with employees, customers, partners, and shareholders.
Without specific core values, it is difficult to establish goals and effectively make decisions. However, once defined and shared through one or more company value statements, company values help direct the organization to success.
According to research by MIT Sloan Management Review, company core values examples include integrity, respect, and innovation; three of the most common terms found in official statements of the corporate culture. Other familiar people-centric words include:
- Social responsibility
- Customer experience
- Employee development
When establishing your company values, consider your organization’s culture and vision. Ask the question, what does your company want to achieve and represent? Answer using a few guidelines:
- Keep values short, for example, ‘continuously improve’ or ‘evolve and adapt.’ Both are easy to understand and practice, whereas long-drawn-out verbiage may not resonate with employees leaving them confused or unsure of what is expected.
- Be specific when writing your company values. Ensure they are relevant to your company’s mission, goals, products, and services offered, as well as your company’s culture.
- Focus on internal and external goals. Consider how your company’s decisions impact employees and those outside your organization.
- Differentiate your company. Look for unique values that make your company stand out. Avoid using those by other companies or competitors.
- Preserve core values over time yet keep them flexible to account for changes in your business strategy or outside influences, including your competition or the economy.
Using the effective practices below can help ensure you voice your company values and they are understood throughout your organization.
- Management must lead by example.
- Teach your values during new employee orientation and training.
- Reinforce core values in employee communications.
- Incorporate company values into all business operations processes.
- Recognize and reward employee value-centric behavior.
- Align internal and external messaging to help customers understand what your company is about and provide your business with purposeful promotion.
Benefits of Company Values
While some companies struggle to establish and commit to their core values, organizations that understand their values and utilize them as an integral part of their management practices across their enterprise find success in achieving business goals.
In addition to contributing to the overall success of your company, core values can help:
1. Inspire Employee Decision-making
When a company identifies and implements its core values, it motivates employees to make the right decisions toward your company’s vision and goals.
2. Attract And Build Strong Client Relationships
Showing potential and current clients what your company represents can attract customers and strengthen existing relationships with clients that share like values.
3. Influence Employee Engagement And Productivity
Engaged employees hold the same values as the organization, which lends to their enthusiasm and commitment to their work and their drive to achieve personal and company goals.
4. Attract And Retain Top Performers
A 2018 Robert Half survey indicates “35 percent of workers would not accept a job that was a perfect match if the corporate culture clashed”.
With today’s technology, it is easy for candidates to research your company to ensure your company values align with theirs. During the interview process, as an employer, you must ensure a candidate is a cultural fit to prevent high turnover rates.
When a company consistently heeds its core values, it demonstrates commitment and integrity, which promotes retention.
5. Increase Competitiveness
A company can distinguish itself as an employer and in the marketplace when it shows what it cares about to employees, current clients, and potential customers.
6. Establish Philanthropic Endeavors
When you establish humanitarian core values you set in motion your company’s involvement in philanthropic endeavors whether they be local, national, or global scale.
How To Involve Your Employees
When a company and its employees share values, the motivation to participate is high. However, when seeking employee involvement in philanthropic activities, you may find you lack creative employee motivation strategies as a manager or business owner.
When you look to your employees for participation, it is essential you follow a few guidelines to ensure your charitable endeavors succeed.
- Lead by example: Employees look to management for leadership. If you donate, volunteer, and participate in philanthropic efforts, employees are more likely to follow your lead.
- Allow employees to take the lead: When you encourage employees to develop ideas on how your company can get involved, you provide them a reason to want to engage.
- Monitor your impact: Setting goals and keeping track of hours volunteered or monies donated shows employees their efforts have made a difference.
- Make activities competitive and fun: You can assign teams based on any number of criteria such as job roles, work shifts, or departments. Consider team t-shirts or other wearables and prizes for competitors.
- Keep employees in the know: Create a newsletter or email and distribute it regularly to keep your employees abreast of upcoming events.
- Ensure opportunities are accessible: Employees may find it challenging to volunteer or donate due to their responsibilities between work, family, school, or life events. Make opportunities accessible by incorporating them into work hours.
- Recognize and reward participants: Recognition was noted as the most important driver of great work by 37 percent of respondents to a recent Great Place to Work survey. Whether you recognize your employees during work hours or volunteer time, receiving an acknowledgment can boost an employee’s morale, confidence, and motivation.
Ideas To getting Employees Involved
Here are a few ideas on how you can encourage your employees to get involved:
1. Create a Donation Drive
Ask employees to donate money or goods. Offer a prize to the team or individual who raises the most.
2. Offer Your Employees Paid Days to Volunteer
This policy, known as volunteer time off (VTO), allows employees to take paid time off work to volunteer in community service projects. VTO is in addition to sick or vacation time.
3. Hold a Casual Day Fundraiser
If your company practices a more formal dress code, set aside one day a week, month, or year and allow any employee to dress casually with a donation to a specified charity.
Core Values at Your Company
Your company’s core values directly impact your organization’s culture and business strategy. They are the foundation from which all decisions must be made.
Core values can inspire, motivate, and encourage employee engagement, impact community relationships, influence business partners, attract and retain customers and top talent, and encourage shareholders.
Adhering to your values throughout your organization leads to better outcomes and overall success.
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Christopher joined Plexus Worldwide in March 2018 as President of Operations and International. In this role, he oversees the company’s distribution, manufacturing, logistics, finance, and accounting departments, information technology department, legal, compliance – quality, project management department, and international.