This Month’s Topic: Core Values
The beginning of a new month brings a new topic to explore. This month’s topic is Core Values. Core Values are fundamental to building a sustainable business and personal life. We will explore various aspects of core values throughout the month.
The Power of Communicating Your Core Values… in Your Business and Your Life
Your core values are those fundamental beliefs that guide your decisions and behavior in your personal life and your business life. Getting clarity about your core values helps you make better decisions in all areas of your life, be more productive, and reduces your stress which in turn improves your health. Once you have clarity about your core values, how do you communicate them… in your personal life and in your business life?
The Importance of Communicating Core Values
Let’s focus on your business first. Why is it important to communicate your company’s core values to your staff, customers, vendors, funders, advisors, and others involved with your business? The primary reason is that your company’s core values are the framework for the company’s culture. Company or “Corporate” Culture is defined as a “set of beliefs and behaviors that guide how a company’s management and employees interact and handle external business transactions.” Do you see the connection to a company’s core values? Corporate culture is a huge topic far beyond the limitations of this post. However, it is important to understand that your personal core values, the personal values of people you hire or choose to do business with, and the values you hold for your business impact the culture of your business. It is easier to create the culture of your company than it is to transform a culture that has gone astray. The same holds for the culture of your personal life.
For more info, see The Value of Core Values
Communicating Your Core Values
Communicating your company’s core values is important because:
- The core values impact the company culture.
- It helps employees and others know/understand the company’s standards and expectations.
- It is a guide for making decisions of all kinds including recruitment/retention, performance review/coaching/promotion, selecting vendors, or choosing opportunities to pursue.
- It reduces conflict, indecision, and wasted resources.
How to Communicate Your Company’s Core Values
There are many ways to communicate your company’s core values. Let’s start with the big picture first. During strategic planning, a Core Values Statement is typically created. These state the fundamental beliefs of the business. The formats vary. Use whatever format works best for you. Here are a few different formats.
But having a formal Core Values Statement isn’t enough. The core values need to be continually communicated in typical company communications. Here are a few examples to help you brainstorm how you can communicate your core values:
- Incorporated into branding
- In company emails
- On the company website
- During meetings (in-person and virtual)
- In customer communications
- In newsletters
- Incorporated into company training and development programs
- Print materials
- On business cards
- During collaboration explorations
- During strategic alliances, mergers, acquisitions
- On bulletin boards
- In break areas
- On a mobile app
- Other ways – think of all the communication venues your business uses.
There can be serious consequences for not communicating your business’ core values. Without a clear understanding of the core values that guide decisions and behavior, employees/vendors/customers can end up feeling disconnected and confused. It can result in low morale, high turnover, and a lack of commitment and loyalty to the company. its goals, and its products and services.
Remember that core values describe your fundamental beliefs for why you do what you do. They don’t describe what you do. Rather, they describe the reasons behind what you do. Keep the words as simple as possible so even people outside your organization will understand your values.
Next: Living your core values
Create more harmony in your workplace, your work life, and your personal life by clarifying your personal and business core values using the Big List of Core Values that I created. You will also develop an action plan to achieve that harmony.