It’s nice to have values that you could put on a billboard –the ones that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. However, are they the values that are going to help you hit your numbers this quarter, attract talent and keep your existing talent? The right set of values should be that beautiful combination of awesome brand meets performance machine.

This is easy to achieve on paper when you’ve listed everything but the kitchen sink. What good is a list of 54 values that your management team is supposed to adhere to and lead with? How can you boil down your vision, map out how to get there and define your brand in just a couple hundred words? It’s not easy, but employee engagement experts 7Geese outlines the three main objectives that effective company values should achieve.

Core Values Help Make Decisions

From the day-to-day decisions, to game-changers, the company values should always be taken into consideration. For instance, if your leading value is a focus on great customer service, and you’re considering new customer management software, the customer’s perspective should be the most important aspect of your new software.

These core values should especially steer hiring decisions. The organization’s values are what the company culture is based on. Using the values to make every hiring decision will ensure a cohesive and engaged workforce. Leadership myth buster and Forbes contributor Matt Wyatt said:

“A new hire should desire to be part of your company for more than the ability to maximize immediate earning potential – they should be interested in your company because there is asincere alignment of values and vision. My premise is a simple one – there is no talent shortage, just a shortage of those able to recognize it.”

Core Values Educate

Values should also be crafted to educate clients, customers and candidates on what the company stands for and what they can expect from the company. The values should form the public identity of the organization. In this respect, it is so important to be genuine and unique. Canned values are easy to come across. We could all go to Zappos’ values pageand copy and paste; that’s not the point. The point is to define and showcase.

Core Values Recruit and Retain

As much importance that employers place on cultural fit, candidates work the same way. They want to work for a company that they can feel a part of, with values that they can get behind. Genuine values that vibe with candidates are a strong talent attraction magnet. Furthermore, when employees feel a connection to a company, they are far more likely to stay with them. CEO of Eagle, a professional staffing firm, Kevin Dee said:

“Finding somebody who fits into your organization and shares your values should be just as important, if not more important, as finding qualified talent. If you agree to that statement, then you should agree that your corporate culture should be a major part of your job listings.”

There is much debate over whether company values are chosen or defined. That is, whether values can be picked and implemented, or they have to be already intrinsic to the organization. We believe that the obvious answer is both. Yes, values are about defining the company, but they are also about leading the company.

Values need to lead performance in a way that is unique to your organization, not simply look pretty in a handbook or the company site. 

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photo credit: radu09 via photopin cc

Views: 89

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 8, 2014 at 2:43pm

Thanks, Sean. ISTM that most companies direct more attention to talking about their values than in making sure those values include treating their employees fairly and well. (If you treat people well you don't need to talk about it, and if you don't treat people well you shouldn't say that you do.) Also, how many employees have the luxury of picking and choosing one offer over another one based on how the company's values align with their own? Most people will work for whoever offers them a (hopefully) halfway decently paid job that isn't in a too openly dysfunctional/toxic environment, because THAT'S THE VERY BEST THEY CAN GET.


Comment by Anna Brekka on May 12, 2014 at 1:55pm

Nice post. 


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