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 Value of Core Values
Strong core values guide a business through its startup phase, through day-to-day operations, through its growth phase and beyond.
Carefully defined core values are the heart of the business. They are the foundation of the business because they guide decisions. Think about all the decisions you make about your business – opportunities to pursue, employees/contractors to hire, services/products to offer, resources to purchase, customer service, capital you need to grow, financial performance and so many more decisions. Your core values and your business’ core values help your business stay true to its unique mission.
What Are Core Values?
Core values are those fundamental beliefs or principles that guide your decisions and actions. Because core values are primarily philosophical, it helps to think about them from the perspective of the following six characteristics. Core values are:
- Fundamental beliefs
- Provide the ethical framework
- Are the norms for acceptable behavior
- Slow to change
- Shape the culture of your organization
Core values guide your personal decisions and actions as well as the decisions and actions of your business. Core values are not dependent on the type of industry, type of company, products or services, or the market. Core values are brought to a company typically by the founders and leaders of the company and are typically based on their personal values and the vision they have for the business.
Examples of Core Values
To help you get a better understanding, here’s a list of some core values and the way that core value may manifest in a business:
- Trust – A company guarantees that it will provide not only high-quality products and services but also outstanding customer service to respond to customers’ needs.
- Commitment to quality – The business sets high-quality standards for its products or services and invests in the resources – human and equipment to meet the standards it embraces.
- Respect – A business is committed to valuing each member of the organization and interacts with respect and empathy.
- Innovation – The company embraces an inquiring mindset, accepts failure as well as success, and provides the resources – human and financial – for the development of new ideas.
- Collaboration – The business states it conducts its business with open-mindedness, and inclusivity in its interactions, and is open to exploring strategic alliances.
- Building community – The business believes in creating a positive, supportive community for its customers and employees.
These are just a few examples of core values that manifest in the day-to-day operations of a business.
Why Are Core Values Important?
Core values are the foundation of your business. When core values are clearly defined, decision-making
becomes easier. You make better decisions easier with less angst and faster. This results in less stress, anxiety, and distress. It makes you and your business more nimble and able to take advantage of opportunities faster.
Core values are also the heart of your business. Being able to clearly articulate your core values helps you attract employees, customers, vendors, investors, and business partners who are aligned with your values. Just think of the implications! This can save you recruitment time and expense. It increases the opportunities for success with strategic alliances and business partners. It reduces internal strife caused when employees/vendors behave in a manner that conflicts with your values. It makes for a happier, more satisfying work environment. Your business’ core values should energize, motivate, and unify.
Most importantly, your core values create the company culture. A company’s culture is a massive factor in its long-term success. This is important even if you are a solopreneur. When people involved in your business – employees, vendors, customers – understand and believe in its core values, they can act in alignment with the values. This eliminates disruptive behavior, saves management time, increases productivity, and creates a happier workplace.
With the challenges facing business today, it is more important than ever to get crystal clear on your personal and business core values. Productivity, recruitment, retention, distribution, marketing, and more are just a few reasons to clarify those values that guide your decisions and actions. Decisions and actions that make your business effective and successful.
Next: Core values examples from real businesses
Understand your business’s core values. Create more harmony in your workplace, your work life, and your personal life by clarifying your personal and business core values. Strengthen the harmony in your work life, your family life, and your personal life.