Creating a vibrant company culture requires that your company stands for something. Listing and living a set of company values is a great way to show what your company stands for. Company values are more than just something you list and forget, though. Your candidates are picking your company based on your culture and values. If you aren’t living your company values in 2020, candidates will begin to see the disconnect between you and the values you state online.
Today, we wanted to shed some light on company values so you can set your values and live them every day.
Clearly Define Your Company Values
Before you can live your company values, you need to define your company values. For example, Google has a clearly defined list of company values that include things like:
- Focus on the user, and all else will follow.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- There is always more information out there.
These values guide the way that Google thinks and the kind of employees that they bring into the company. Google breaks down what these values are and how they manifest in the company. Examples help your employees understand your company values, why you have them, and how they can live them.
Recruit Based On Your Values
Last week, we showed you how to build your talent pipeline. When you are recruiting, you should hire based on your company values. If your employees don’t align with your values as a company, it will be challenging to live your company values every day. Bring up your company values throughout the interview process. For example, if you value integrity, make sure your questions help you understand each candidate’s stance on integrity. Create a value-based recruitment system, so that your values are front and center in your hiring process.
Affirm Your Values Through Training And Workshops
Everyone can always get better at living your company values. Some values are more challenging to work on (for example, you probably want to hire someone who values honesty instead of training them to do so.) Most of our values, though, can be taught or expanded on. If your company values creativity, you can teach people to tap into their creative side.
Training and workshops allow you to connect with your employees hands-on and affirm your values over time. As much as we’d love our employees to live our values perfectly from the start, we could all use a few hours to affirm our values.
Make Sure Your Daily Actions Align With Your Company Values
If you say you value honesty, you need to be okay when your employees are honest with you. Your management team cannot get upset or lash out when people follow the values that you have set as a company. If your daily actions don’t align with your company values, your employees will begin to notice the discrepancies.
Company Values Aren’t Just For Low-Level Employees
Your company leaders also need to walk the walk when it comes to your company values. Your low-level employees mirror what they see from management. If your management team isn’t living the company values you set, you will find that those values don’t get followed. Leading by example is essential.
Celebrate Employees Who Live Your Company Values
One of the best things you can do to live your company values is to celebrate employees who live your company values. For example, you could give out monthly or end of the year awards based on your company values. You could use your company values when you are giving feedback or praise. You want to tie company wins to the values that you set and use every day.
Live Your Company Values Even When It’s Hard
It’s easy to live your company values 99% of the time.
That 1% where living your values might shake the table or cause controversy with your customers or investors causes many companies to shy away from their values.
While customers and investors play a significant role in your company, you should be trying to attract people who agree with your values on all sides (customers, investors, and employees.) Have open conversations with the key players in your company, so that you can more adequately live your company values.
Did you recently abandon one of your company values? Why do you think you did? What can you work on to make sure that your values stay top of mind during all of your company decisions?
Living your company values is critical. We want to attract the right employees and grow our company. The best way to do that is by first setting specific company values. Make sure you are living those values every day, these shouldn’t be statements you set up once and forget.
Work with your leadership team right now to review your company values. Are you living up to the values you share with candidates and employees? How can you live those values more authentically?
Do you want more information on living your company values? Check out our post on keeping your company values aligned when hiring seasonal workers.