Your company values are an essential part of your company’s culture and brand, and they can significantly improve employee retention, satisfaction and motivation. However, although management may have a deep understanding of the company values put forward and defined by them, this understanding must be passed on to everyone involved in the company. Why define company values if no one even knows what they are and how they relate to everyday operations?
In order for company values to make a real contribution to the company, everyone, from management to rank-and-file employees, needs to understand them and follow them every day. How do you do it?
Lead by example
INC states that employees constantly pay attention to leaders. A key role in building trust and values is the example shown by managers, which also motivates employees to go deeper – to understand and work every day according to company values.
Initially, managers can regularly remind employees of company values in the work process, for example, by explaining different decision-making or the organisation of processes based on company values. Similarly, managers can use values when providing feedback to employees, for example, by commending an employee who performed a job in line with the values of the company.
Organise training that explains company values
Training on company values is a safe way to make sure that employees are “on the same wavelength” and knowledgeable when values are introduced. Demonstrating these dedicated efforts shows the company trusts in certain values and provides a time and place to explain in detail why they are needed, as well as why the company is doing things exactly this way and the way it has been accepted and everyone has agreed upon.
When defining company values, it is essential that they are consistent with the company’s operations. Many companies carry out the implementation of values as a marketing campaign, with a variety of activities at the launch stage, sometimes artificially created to inform everyone about the new values without getting into the authenticity and meaningfulness of the activities. Such an approach can undermine the credibility of the leaders of the organisation and the importance of values, since implementing values has become a fun campaign rather than a serious, long-term job.
Strengthen the use of values in internal communication
Regardless of whether the communication takes place in e-mails, newsletters or company-wide messages, restating and emphasising company values will help strengthen their importance. Values can also be used to provide feedback by defining them as the basic criteria for which employees provide feedback to each other.
Notice and reward employees that follow company values
Companies can strengthen their employees’ ties to organisation values by providing a variety of initiatives and rewards. For example, if one of the core company values is speed, then employees can be encouraged to participate in the challenge by responding to customer messages in a certain period of time. After successfully completing a challenge, employees can be rewarded with bonuses, additional holidays and other awards.
Include company values in all company processes
Values should cover all aspects of the company. This can include recruiting only people with a similar value system and understanding as the company, using values in sales and communication strategies, building customer experience, or even evaluating the success of employees, based on how well they implement values in everyday work. For example, if the values of your company include caring about people, it should be shown in all the processes of the company – taking care of your employees, offering a variety of bonuses in health insurance, also taking care of the mental health of employees, reaching compromises with employees who need to bring a child to work due to family conditions. This value must also appear in external communication, such as when you create advertising campaigns, they must be based on that value. When dealing with customers, all employees should also show real concern for the customer, offering the best solution to the customer’s needs.
Coordinate internal and external communication
In terms of values, the public should know what the employees know. Values should permeate marketing materials, the company’s website, the content of its LinkedIn profile, and anywhere the company communicates with customers. This helps customers understand what this company is and what values it represents, helping to create positive and meaningful “word of mouth” for the company.
Make your values public
Your company values can tell a lot about your company, so they should be public. Companies with a slow rotation of employees make these values public, which permeates all external communication materials, thereby creating value-based awareness for the respective company. This is useful when a company looks for new employees – with potential employees already knowing what the company values are, they can see if they match their own values and whether they will “mesh” with the company.
Some companies bring the use of values to a new level by using them to create the company’s brand. Buffer is a great example of how a company can position itself and its services while highlighting the values of the company.
Defining values at the management level or using them as beautiful slogans will not contribute anything to the company and its employees. For values to really work, they need to be implemented in the company’s environment, in every process, and it can be done in different ways: each company needs to find the best way for itself.