All companies have beneath-the-surface philosophies that guide its interactions with customers and employees. Without a concerted effort to define these core values, however, a business may struggle to connect with clients or consistently motivate staff.
To create a strong bond with both customers and employees using your business’s core values, start by conducting a close examination of what your business hopes to achieve and represent. Think about the why behind all that you do. Look at your best performers and the values they hold.
Next, document these values. Keep each statement short. You want employees to know core values by heart.
Finally, take concrete steps to implement core values in the following areas:
- Hiring decisions. A clear understanding of specific values can guide decisions about potential employees. Incorporate these values into job descriptions and new employee training. An interviewee who doesn’t share your underlying philosophy may not fit your company culture.
- Staff recognition. Publicly reward those who either exemplify a particular value or show initiative when addressing situations in which values have been violated. Your company’s employee recognition platform might explicitly tie rewards to specific values. For example, at a staff meeting you might present a gift card to a receptionist who has gone the extra mile to deliver outstanding customer service.
- Performance evaluations. Core values give employees a clear standard on which to base performance, and teams tend to work more efficiently when operating on the basis of shared norms. On the flip side, when it’s time to evaluate an employee’s performance, a manager can cite core values when offering constructive criticism or emphasizing the need for improvement.
Customer interactions. Core values are a promise to your customers. In some cases, customers may be drawn to your company because of the ideals you espouse and advertise. So be sure to showcase these standards in web pages, sales brochures, and advertisements.