Your core values are the most valuable asset you have. They help define your business, but more than that, they define your team and the work they put into the success of the business. That success can be broken down into the Core Value Equation.
Core Values = Words = Conversations = Decisions = Actions = Results
Or distilling it further: Core Values = Results.
If you can define your values, everything that happens in your life is a direct correlation of your values, whether those things are good or bad. Your core values should be stated to and by your team, your customers should be aware of them – and they should be memorable.
Companies fail at core values when they are implemented poorly – or aren’t implemented at all. In other words, they come up with a list of values and don’t live up to them.
You and your employees should all be on the same page. You should see the core values around the office, they should be talked about regularly and they should be a part of the day-to-day aspects of your business. Don’t let them just be words on paper. Give them real meaning!
Developing core values is a five-part process:
- Discovery Process: What matters most? Core values don’t have to be “nice” – they need to be authentic to the company.
- Design Process: They need to be sticky, viral and memorable to the team – make a sign for the office and put them on the website.
- Rollout Process: You want customers and employees to fall in love with the core values, so make it all about them. Make sure that the core values are visible to the
company – on the wall, on the website or even in your email signature.
- Implementation Process: Have your team forget about past experiences with the company. Your core values are about reorienting and reenergizing your employees and getting them on the same page.
- Measurement Process: Survey your employees and get their feedback. Review employees based on a core value rating. Put it to work and make it tangible.
How can you make sure your team remembers the core values?
- Keep It Simple. Miller’s Law states that most adults can store between five and nine items in their short-term memory.
- Keep It Short. Choose a word, then you can have a meaning behind those words.
- Keep It Clear. Avoid jargon, keep it conversational and use words everyone uses.
With that, you have the foundation to develop a strong set of core values for your companies – core values that will define your team, who they are and their future success.
Andy Bailey is the founder, CEO and lead business coach at Petra, an organization dedicated to helping business owners across the world achieve levels of success they never thought possible. With personal experience founding an Inc. 500 multimillion-dollar company that he then sold and exited, Bailey founded Petra to pass on the principles and practices he learned along the way. As his clients can attest, he can cut through organizational BS faster than a hot knife through butter.