When your organization isn’t running as efficiently as it could, it’s tempting to blame individual mistakes or team members. But before you do that, step back and ask yourself, ‘Do the people working for us know what we expect of them?’
If they don’t, it’s likely that you haven’t created your company’s core values.
By crafting a customized, simple, and meaningful core value set, you can set an example for your company to follow that’s easy to explain and even easier to understand. Let’s break down the process and take a look at what will make your new core values…valuable!
Why Do You Need Core Values?
Your current employees aren’t the only ones sensitive to a lack of core values. Now more than ever, customers and potential hires are looking for businesses that set themselves apart from others in positive and impactful ways.
Consider core values an extension of yourself and your company. Have you ever had an employee that struggled to make important decisions without your input? Of course you have, that’s business! But it makes sense—without them, employees are left to their own devices when facing difficult situations within the organization or even worse, when interacting with customers and clients.
Still don’t think you need a list of core values? Already have them in stone? Let’s test it! Can you and a co-worker tackle these questions together (and come up with the same answers?!)
- ‘How do we treat our customers and each other?
- ‘What is most important to us when it comes to our culture and how do we define our ideal team member?’
- ‘What do we want our customers to think of when they think of us?”
If your answers didn’t match exactly, you’re not alone. We speak to small business teams every day that know what they want their core values to be but don’t yet have them written down. Without clear direction and consistent reminders, it’s difficult to expect your team to work hard on adopting these values or pass them on to your clients.
How Do You Decide On The Right Values For You?
When creating your team’s core values, it can be helpful to make sure that the first ones you choose are already present in some way. By focusing on desired values your team is already exhibiting, you can show your employees that you appreciate the work they do, while setting the groundwork for any aspirational values you’d like to implement in the future.
For example, let’s say you’re in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry—specifically, you create products that spotlessly clean your customers’ homes, while remaining eco-friendly and safe for humans (and pets!) Your employees are currently helpful with customers and they reliably communicate with their team members, but when it comes to assisting your customers to understand your sustainability metrics/data, they often fall short. The kickstart to your core values meeting could look something like this:
- Courtesy: We treat everyone from co-workers to customers with respect and dignity.
‘We currently do this well and will continue to do so, especially now that it’s in our handbook!’
- Communication: We quickly and reliably pass along any pertinent information to whoever needs it, as soon as possible!
‘Again, you guys are doing great here—we’d just like to make this a permanent part of our work culture!’
- Knowledge: We know our products, our technology, and our company—inside and out.
‘We’re initiating a new training program to assist our salespeople with our new eco-friendly initiatives and products. We want to give you the tools to succeed and we know you’ll rise to the challenge!’
As you brainstorm the rest of the values with your team, make sure to keep them concise and relevant to your business. How many do you need? That’s up to you! But we recommend keeping it under (8) or so. More than that can be difficult to enforce or even remember. Add more or take some away at a later time, just remember, getting them on paper is the goal here.
You can create a positive and uplifting environment while providing helpful guidance and feedback that your team will actually follow! It just takes a little planning, a meeting or two, and a few stakes in the ground. Your company’s name (and/or possibly yours) is on the sign, make it stand for something!
What Are CCG’s Core Values?
While we recommend creating a custom list of core values, specific to your company’s culture and industry, taking a look at some examples can be a helpful starting point to your first core value meeting. What does CCG stand for? What do we strive for? What does an ideal CCG team member mean? You can find our core values here on our website, but we’ll make it easy and include them here as well.
In the spirit of knowledge and guidance, schedule a call with us today to discuss creating, editing, or displaying your team’s core values.
Adhering To Your Core Values
So you’ve defined your core values, what’s next? Identifying what you stand for means nothing if it’s not then implemented and adhered to. There are tons of businesses with ‘core values’ that they don’t follow and their customers and employees know it! They are the New Year’s Resolutions of business—useless without action. To set yourself apart, inject your values into all aspects of the business that you can and make sure that your employees know they’re expected to do the same. Here are some useful tips we’ve picked up along the way:
- When hiring, ask your employees questions that determine if they already share these values.
- When training and mentoring, listen to your employees and ask them their opinions on your core values. Do they see other teammates following them? Are there any changes that need to be made?
- When conducting exit interviews, ask these same questions! Before leaving the job or transferring to a new position, employees will often give their most constructive feedback, you just have to be willing to listen.
- Have a plan for employees that are lacking in certain core values—with the right infrastructure, a lackluster employee with potential can turn into a superstar.
- Most importantly, consistently discuss and exhibit your core values yourself!
As always, if you or your team needs assistance with creating or displaying core values, schedule a call here with one of our experts today. We know you have core values already, we just want the rest of the world to know too!