Best Examples Of Effective Company Values And How To Make Them
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
All great companies don’t just spring from nothing. They are the result of people, ideas and passions. The sum total of these base ingredients is often exemplified in company values, what your organization stands for and how it intends to carry out its work.
Company values are more than a marketing tool or filler content for your About page. In fact, they should define everything about your company. From how you work with your staff to how you present yourself to your users. A good set of company values is a foundation for a company with integrity and vision — they’re something that deserves some hard thinking.
In plainer terms, your company values should capture the imagination of both your customers and potential employees. Attracting them to the business in the first place. Consequently, they should serve to keep your customers and staff loyal and satisfied.
How To Create Effective Company Values
Let’s assume you’re on board and know that effective values are an essential foundation for any business. How then do you go about crafting company values effectively?
Discussion is essential for creating a long-list of company values, the broad strokes of your companies intentions. Allow open and frank discussion amongst team members. Ideally from different departments and levels of the organization to approach the problem with a united front. In discussions, don’t be afraid to throw any and all ideas out there. At this point, you’re plotting points on a graph in order to find a trend. To that end, group together similar ideas and create categories — values-oriented variously at customers, employees or development, for example.
Picture 1. Employees discussion
Once you have your long list, you can start to simplify. Identify which are the strongest values in your categories and eliminate the others one by one. Again, this should be led by discussion, and ideally not one dictated by upper management. If the group feels like the boss has the final say, they might not feel allowed to speak up against an idea they disagree with.
Ruseph Paul, an HR representative at UKWritings and Essay Services, recommends to “try having the highest-ranking person in the room speak last, to avoid them directing the discussion in any particular direction. Even better, once you have a long list of valuable ideas, allow each team member to blind vote with tokens on which values they prefer. Encouraging open and honest discussion is the best way to arrive at a list of company values that represents the whole company, not just the CEO.”
You’ll eventually arrive at a final list of values, but try not announcing them straight away. Give your team time to contemplate the final list. Schedule another meeting in a month’s time to confirm the final list, giving you the opportunity to correct any issues before you commit.
Picture 2. People who love their workplace statistics
4 Best Examples Of Effective Company Values
Sometimes it helps to learn a little from the pros.
Here are a few examples of top companies and their values to show what effective values can do to your business development.
- Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.
Google goes above and beyond with their company values. Highlighting each point and exploring them in detail with examples of aspirations and positive previous work. Their point on Democracy cites their PageRank algorithm, and on making money without doing evil they cite three sub-values exemplifying guiding principles for their advertising practices. This is really putting core values to use in a transparent way that users appreciate.
Picture 3. Examples of great workplace values
2. Whole Foods
- Satisfy And Delight Our Customers — Our customers are the lifeblood of our business and our most important stakeholder. We strive to meet or exceed their expectations in every shopping experience.
- Promote Team Member Growth And Happiness — Our success is dependent upon the collective energy, intelligence, and contributions of all of our Team Members.
- Care About Our Communities And The Environment — We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each store is a direct reflection of a community’s people, culture, and cuisine.
- Practice Win-Win Partnerships With Our Suppliers — We view our trade partners as allies in serving our stakeholders. We treat them with respect, fairness, and integrity – expecting the same in return.
Another great example of a company backing up their core values is Whole Foods. Their page links to examples of how they are implementing these values in various programs. Such as the Local Producer Loan Program or their numerous environmental efforts over the years. This commitment pays off, as Whole Foods has set itself apart from the competition for its commitment to sustainability and community connection. It’s what makes customers come back to the grocery chain time and time again
- Be Accountable – even when no-one is looking
- Thrive Together – greatness comes from unlocking each other’s potential
- Advance Confidently – we find opportunity and act on it
- Collaborate Openly – our whole is greater than the sum of our parts
- Engage Fearlessly – we speak up and listen
A smaller company like LogMeIn might not have the track record to boast about like Google and Whole Foods. But these are still a good example of how to make company values an engaged part of the business. Notice how each point is phrased as an active intention — Be, Advance, Collaborate — suggesting the company is actively pursuing these values. Rather than passively embodying them. LogMeIn also goes into detail on each point, describing what the values actually mean in terms of practical work output.
- Be Bold
- Build Relationships/Deliver Results
- Challenge and Collaborate
- Focus On the Outcome
- Start With the Consumer
Cars.com’s points are an example of how to write company values intended to inspire users and workers alike. Just take a look at how they describe their first point:
Take action – just go. A champion of being bold doesn’t shy away from competition that seems insurmountable or opportunities that feel impossible. They think outside the box; write new stories. They feel empowered to make decisions and take action. Stop wondering “wouldn’t it be cool if…” and start living it. When this person is unsure about the next step to take, he or she starts with what they know and creates the path one step at a time, building confidence and momentum. Inaction is the enemy of innovation.
Not only does this give us a great idea of how the company sees its values, but it’s also written in a way that makes you believe they are truly committed to being bold. It’s writing like this that will encourage workers to seek you out and stay with you, and it displays a tenacity that users will respond to.
How To Use Company Values
You’ve got your complete list of company values — they’re concise, effective and really encapsulate your brand — make sure you put them to good use. There’s no point figuring out exactly what you want your company to embody and then not putting in the time to thread those values throughout the fabric of the organization.
The real function of values is to get your whole workforce to march in step. Not in a scary totalitarian way, but because they identify with what they’re marching towards and are eager to get there together. Each of your employees should know your values because they speak to them at some level. That’s half of the reason why you involved a broad group of people in the discussion process, after all.
One tip from Kameron Michaels, a journalist at Big Assignments and Elite Assignment Help, is to “keep your values at the core of your hiring process. Applicants will want to know what your company stands for, and the right applicant might make their decision based on what you and your team prioritize. By bringing up the core values in the recruitment process you are seeing if applicants will fit into the dynamic of the team.”
It’s also important not to rest on your laurels. Many team members will forget company values over time, even if they identify with them. So it’s important to refresh value thinking periodically. Keeping your values alive, not just as bullet points on your About page, will lash you to them and drive forward your development.
It might take work to distill your company values into something you can be proud of, but values themselves should not be hard work. Get to know your company and its work enough and values should present themselves to you. All you need to do is give them a voice and commit to them.
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