Identifying Core Values With Mission and Vision
Core values help current and potential customers, clients, and stakeholders understand what the company stands for – unlike mission statements which outline specific goals that it wishes to accomplish.
Value systems are invaluable tools in business as they guide decisions and unite employees around the “why” behind your company’s existence. Value systems can be integrated into every process involving employees – including hiring methods, performance management systems, and criteria for rewards and promotions.
Defining Core Values
People and companies possess core values that guide their lives, such as treating others with respect or always working hard. Establishing these core values for your team is an integral step in setting an environment conducive to teamwork.
Start by brainstorming a list of 3-7 core values that are clear and actionable that you and all members of your leadership team believe in, live by, and wish to see implemented within your company. These should be concise enough that everyone on the leadership team can memorize them quickly.
Negative values such as greed or self-interest can create a toxic atmosphere and alienate customers from your brand, so opt for positive, uplifting values aligned with your mission and vision instead.
Once you have created your core values, please share them with all employees to solicit their input and create an accountability framework to hold employees to live up to them in day-to-day operations and decision-making processes. This will ensure your values become part of the culture of your company.
Crafting a Mission Statement
Mission statements help businesses communicate their values to stakeholders while serving as the blueprint for a company’s function. An ideal mission statement should be concise, specific, and free from unnecessary jargon.
Collaborate with your team and leaders to craft a mission statement that accurately represents what makes your organization unique. Involve all relevant parties for more creative ideas that resonate with employees and customers.
Consider whether or not your statement should be aspirational, inspiring action, or making a practical impactful statement that inspires employees and customers to support your company. These latter two options tend to attract both employees and customers more effectively. For instance, Patagonia’s mission statement calls upon it to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business as a vehicle for inspiration”.
Once your mission statement is ready, please share it with employees through Q&A sessions or surveys and receive their feedback on its accuracy before publishing it in company literature and on your website.
Developing a Vision Statement
Once you’ve identified potential core values, use employee surveys or brainstorming sessions to gather insight from your team and narrow it down further. When complete, incorporate those traits into a vision statement that guides your organization and ensures timeless core beliefs are aligned with company goals.
Vision statements can be daunting tasks to undertake – rightfully so! After all, creating one requires looking ahead into your business’s future and can seem daunting.
If you aim to give your business a clear direction, taking time and making meaningful plans to define this direction should be part of its plan. A vision statement can provide moral grounding that unifies employees while strengthening workplace relationships; additionally, it can guide decision-making for hiring practices, performance reviews, and promotion criteria – helping your company flourish over time.
Aligning Values, Mission, and Vision
An essential aspect of identifying any company’s core values is ensuring they correspond with the vision and mission. While vision and mission provide the long-term goal, values act as the blueprint to bring that goal to life daily through team members.
PayPal’s vision is to simplify and reduce money movement and management costs. At the same time, their mission provides employees with the strategy for fulfilling this vision by aligning all processes and projects to support this goal.
Setting clear company values, vision, and goals helps everyone within an organization stay aligned – even when working remotely or from home. Aligning employees can be achieved by conducting employee engagement surveys with questions that address alignment-specific areas and reinforcing core values via all internal communications channels (posting them on walls, posting all-hands emails with them, or creating real-time Slack channels for feedback). It also helps to have clear metrics you can regularly assess that measure activation levels for purpose, mission, and value activation levels within an organization.
Communicating Your Purpose to Stakeholders
Ideal, the core values of any company should be communicated to all key stakeholders – employees, customers, and the public alike. This ensures everyone knows its guiding principles and how they should be applied during daily operations and decision-making processes.
Communication of core values to stakeholders also assists companies in keeping them at the forefront, even during leadership, staffing, or circumstance changes. If a company can maintain its performance levels high regardless of these changes, that can be seen as evidence that its stated values have become part of its culture and business.
As core values are essential to developing a successful company, many businesses don’t know how to implement them into daily operations. Here are some tips to help your business identify and implement your core values so they align with its mission and vision – this will enable your team to make more effective decisions that support the organization’s overall goals, creating a more cohesive working environment that fosters employee satisfaction and engagement.
Reviewing and Updating Your Core Statements
Maintaining up-to-date core values is vital for creating an authentic company culture aligned with your business goals and trust with customers, partners, and employees. Authenticity plays a huge role in building these bonds between the parties involved.
Though identifying authentic company values may seem challenging, you can begin the process by listing what is most important to you and then sharing this with your leadership team and asking for their feedback. This should allow you to narrow your list down into core values that represent the overall character of your organization.
As your company expands and evolves, its culture may develop as well. Review and revise your core statements to accurately represent your mission, vision, beliefs, and objectives. Your core values should serve as unifying forces that bring employees and stakeholders together towards mutual success; when aligned, this creates an enjoyable work environment that is productive yet motivating, leading to higher employee retention rates and increasing your bottom line.
Embedding Core Values in Company Culture
Core values serve as the cornerstones for decision-making and operations in any organization, from hiring staff and performance reviews, through event hosting and leadership decisions, to leadership actions. Therefore, these values must become embedded into the company culture.
One way to accomplish this is to assemble a team that will collaborate to create the company’s core values. Engaging multiple departments and levels in this process ensures that its final list will represent everyone within your company. Once an initial list of possible core values has been generated, they should evaluate them to establish which are most critical; employee surveys or meetings with employees could help with this evaluation process.
Once core values have been finalized, they should be shared with employees through onboarding videos, company newsletters, and quarterly team meetings. Sharing stories about how employees live their core values through an employee recognition platform such as Workvivo can also help employees feel recognized for their efforts by managers and co-workers.
Measuring the Impact of Core Values and Mission
Living up to company values can be difficult, so to ensure consistency and clarity, core values must be regularly examined to ensure they stay true to the brand.
Core values play an enormous role in making decisions daily, such as makeup and hair product purchases. Conversely, someone who prioritizes sustainability may shop more sustainably at eco-friendly retailers.
Company core values play an integral role in how employees collaborate and interact with clients and customers, not to mention how the culture unifies and inspires the company’s future successes. Establishing core values doesn’t just create an exercise; they help shape a corporate culture that unifies employees into one cohesive unit while encouraging further success for all its subsidiaries. By setting out clear codes of conduct that employees abide by, companies can increase employee satisfaction and morale, reduce turnover rates and build client loyalty while creating a sense of purpose shared by all stakeholders resulting in a positive social impact for all.