There’s more to running a successful business than sales and profits; creating a company culture and having clear core values are essential to the long-term sustainability of any business.
As a business owner, ask yourself, “Who are we and what do we stand for?” More than a simple slogan or mission statement, your core values must be something you believe in and support. Does your company value diversity, integrity, innovation, ethics, personality, etc.? The answers to these questions will play a crucial role in the development of both your external and internal brand strategy.
Why Is Identifying Your Company’s Core Values Important?
Knowing what your core values are will allow your leaders, executives, and management to hire the right people and attract the right customers, which will improve efficiencies, increase customer retention and acquisition, cut down on costs, and enhance employee engagement. These are huge competitive advantages!
In his popular business fable, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” author Patrick Lencioni quotes a successful entrepreneur who claimed,
“If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
Developing core values will help you achieve this goal.
How Can My Company Develop & Define Its Core Values? How Can We Share These Values Among Our Customers & Employees?
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
The first–and perhaps most important–step, is to embody your values in everything you say and do. As the business owner, you set the example. Your values shouldn’t just be displayed on walls or websites, they must be actionable. Your values must be lived and experienced, because you want your customers and employees to be able to embody these values, too.
Get To Know Your Customers
What matters to your customers? Many consumers don’t just value quality products or good deals, they also believe in things like reliability, sustainability, and kindness. Go out and talk to your customers. Ask them questions such as, “What makes our company unique in the industry?” Read reviews about your products and services and incorporate that feedback into future strategies. Taking these steps will help you define the brand your target audience wants to do business with. It will also help you establish your company “voice,” which will be shown off in all the ways your customers interact with your business, including advertising, website content, customer service, and more.
Establishing and clearly defining your core values to your employees and prospective employees will give you the structure and common goals necessary to create and sustain a strong, more motivated team. Your core values should reflect the current team and culture, especially the key players in your company. Speak to your employees about what they value in a workplace. What for them makes a great company culture? What do they think a business should value? You might own the business, but if you value your staff, it’s important that they have a voice, too, after-all, they are there working day-in and day-out and are the face of your company.