The underlying beliefs your team holds are company values (or core values). They are your guiding principles for getting your team to work together more effectively towards a common goal.
But why do you need them?
Once your employees get used to the routine of their workplace, it is very easy to forget why they are there in the first place. Sure, the first answer that comes to their minds is probably the paycheck. While the values are not necessarily the reason why the people are there, they serve as guidance as to how they will achieve the “why”. That is why values are important.
For example, AIESEC volunteers are motivated to put in work even without the financial benefits because we feel connected to our purpose – we strive to achieve peace & fulfillment of humankind’s potential. We constantly reinforce our values, as they shape our decisions and choices.
Here are a few reasons why setting the right values for your workplace could prove beneficial in the long term:
1. Assist the team in making decisions
Core values help your workers land faster decisions. Consistent values allow your employees to understand what you stand for and your organization’s “WHY.” What behaviors should be encouraged and which should be avoided. Based on Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why”, people should generally feel that leaders are there to help them be the best version of themselves. “A leader’s role is not to do the work for others, it’s to assist others to figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to accomplish beyond what they believed possible, which is why values can assist the team in making decisions.”.
2. Improve the reputation of your business
For businesses of all sizes and across sectors, company culture is increasingly becoming a differentiator. A positive, productive culture has the power to attract potential employees and clients to join your team. And more importantly, it makes them stay with you for the long haul. According to an LRN study, “Organizations in which shared values
and a commitment to a mission and purpose are the primary motivation factors for employees, are nine times more likely to have high customer satisfaction”.
3. Boost motivation
Teams that have a clear mission and values are more involved and inspired. Without a doubt, you can tell which behaviors are promoted if you know what your values are. More importantly, in a safe environment, you feel more comfortable and inspired to work toward common goals. As Ari Weinzweig, founder of Zingerman’s says, “If you don’t create a great, rewarding place for people to work, they won’t do great work”.
4. Recruit the best candidates
Clear values will help ensure that new hires are a good fit for the organization. The best part about having core values in the company is that it helps attract the best candidates. Candidates look for companies that align with their core values, as they’re looking for meaningful work. For example, one of the values of Relativity, an American software company is “Embrace the talents of your colleagues and our customers. At Relativity, we want you to be you. We know that our differences are our greatest strength, and everyone should feel empowered to share their unique perspective from day one. That’s how great ideas – and happy teams – thrive.”.
5. Retain the talent
Retaining your best employees is hard work. The employees need to feel valued, seen, and trusted. In addition, other substantial rewards include the prospect of advancement in their career and opportunities for personal growth. The company’s core values should incorporate these elements to help build an atmosphere where employees can continue working, developing, and evolving. Steve Jobs of Apple summed up the importance of retaining the talent with this advice: “Go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”
It’s a chain reaction.
A company that lacks core values is prone to be a toxic workplace. If you haven’t identified and shared your company values with your employees, you might face some challenges. Values are the result of beliefs and the catalyst for behaviors. Behaviors create actions. Actions have the power to speak louder than words. In AIESEC, we guide ourselves by six core values that empower us to take the lead, accept differences, and be mindful of our surroundings and future generations.
What are your core values?