Many businesses have a mission statement posted on their website; some even write down specific values important to their business. But is it really meaningful or helpful to articulate a mission and core values for your organization?
If all you’re going to do is post them on a plaque on the wall, then probably not. But organizations that really take the process of defining and acting on their core values and mission can see some surprising results. A study from consultant group Booz Allen Hamilton found that factors important to business strategy – specifically corporate reputation, customer loyalty, employee recruitment, and product quality – are also strongly affected by core values. How can core values and a central mission have such an impact?
Values ease decision-making.
Core values start at the top. Roy E. Disney once said, “When you know your core values, decisions are easy.” Presumably, he meant that values serve as powerful criteria against which decisions can be weighed. If your business prioritizes always doing the right thing for the customer, a decision that would compromise or undermine that commitment can be easily and quickly dismissed. These values can help companies make decisions in recruitment, customer service, product development, etc., as noted by Booz Allen Hamilton.
Values can help differentiate your company.
As the values manifest in your organization, they have marketplace impacts. A value-driven commitment to customers translates into better customer service, which translates into better experiences for customers with your organization more so than others. This burnishes your marketplace reputation. Second, the values also help demonstrate the ways in which you are different from your competitors. Particularly in a commoditized environment, values can make a difference. For example, a value of sustainability and environmental friendliness – always using recyclable materials in packaging your commodity product – can lead customers to choose you.
Values can bolster employee retention and productivity.
Often, the greatest impact of core values is internal. Employees want to feel that they are making meaningful contributions with their daily work, and imbuing their efforts with a sense of corporate values can help them achieve that goal. Values give employees a sense of connection to their work and workplace. The 2016 GloboForce report on “The ROI of Recognition in Building a More Human Workplace” found that employees familiar with their organization’s core values regularly demonstrate higher engagement scores.
To get started with core values of your own, understand that defining and especially implementing core values and mission may take some time. Your organization could potentially embrace any set of values out of hundreds. Take the time to really think through what your organization is about and what you want to achieve in the world. And don’t be afraid to ask for help: experienced consultants cannot tell you what your values are, but they can assist with this process tremendously.
Need more information on company values or retention and productivity? CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with employee engagement, HR administration, benefits, and payroll. To learn more about our integrated suite of HR solutions that boosts employee morale and drives business growth potential, contact us today.