Values have become a focal point for forward-thinking companies. They feature on their websites, in their annual reviews, as well as being incorporated into their processes and practices. So why are values so important?
Primarily, values say a lot about you and your business; they indicate what type of business you are and what you stand for. For instance, do your values depict a traditional business or do they represent a company that’s going to disrupt its industry? Do they demonstrate a strategy to build a people-centric business? Do your values reveal that you’re a company championing sustainability in its desire to help save the planet?
There are a number of values that are commonly used across all industries, such as ‘empower’, ‘collaborate’ and ‘be transparent’. These values will help to create a solid foundation in a business… yet what happens if you think outside the box. Selecting values that aren’t typically chosen in your industry would allow you to position yourself as an industry leader capable of providing something new to your customers.
Your company’s values will be key to attracting employees who connect with the ethos of your company; they’re sure to come up in job interviews! Well devised values will inspire and grow employees, creating an environment that supports employees to become the best versions of themselves.
The advantages of well-thought-out values don’t stop there. When everyone in your company embodies inspirational values, then the outputs produced within the company will be positively impacted. The values will help employees make decisions that are aligned to the essence of the company, so every action is consciously carried out to further the company vision. Employees will support each other, communicate openly and thrive on collaboration, resulting in innovative solutions that set your company apart from others. This achievement will increase job satisfaction and in turn increase employee retention.
Your values will have just as much impact on your customers as your employees. It’s becoming increasingly common for customers to analyze what sort of a company they’re buying from. They’ll ask questions, such as does this company make ethical decisions? Do they genuinely care about both their customers and their employees? Being able to clearly answer questions like these through your values will therefore open up the conversation to new customers. Operating according to values will also enable you to create unique products and services that cater directly to your customer’s needs, overdelivering on the benefits you provide to them. This will help to create long-term customers who repeatedly buy from you.
Values in a conscious business will also underpin how the company interacts with the local community. This could vary from providing offers to the local community, donating to local causes, or volunteering time to community projects, with each strategy driven by the spirit of the company’s values. The aim is to ultimately help the company make more of a difference.
A company’s values can showcase how much focus is put on environmental schemes by the company too. As the devastating effects of global warming become more apparent, sustainability is fast becoming the latest buzzword. Yet it’s also a combination of values that highlight a company’s care and devotion to improving the world at large which will drive forward a company’s commitment to schemes to reduce carbon emissions.
Values are therefore fundamental to a conscious business operating in a way that serves people and the planet. They influence internal and external relationships, employee behaviours, and ultimately the success of the business. The benefits created through a value-driven company really will be far-reaching.
So, what do your values say about your company?