Company values are bedrock standards that all employees can use to measure their conduct and performance.
Employees are the backbone of any organization, and as the consumer market becomes more competitive, so does the job market. As the United States unemployment rate remains at near historic lows (around 3.7%), companies are re-assessing their core values to shape company culture.
As an entirely new generation of workers step into the workforce (Millennials and Gen Zers make up the largest demographics in the labor force), companies are beginning to rethink their core values as a competitive advantage to recruit and retain employees.
What are company values?
Simply put, company values are the morals, ethics, and virtues that your company holds near and dear. Often, this will be human-oriented values that help personify the brand and create a culture that nurtures growth and retention.
Popular company values include:
- Positively shaping the future
What are “good” company values?
Good company values are simple to identify. Essentially, they’re the positive attributes that guide your company and employees.
A good company value gives your organization purpose and meaning that employees — especially Millennials and Gen Zers — can align themselves with.
Reid Hoffman, executive chairman and co-founder of LinkedIn, states that “companies that understand the increasing emphasis of purpose in today’s professional landscape improve their ability to attract such employees and also their ability to retain them for longer periods of time.”
“COMPANIES THAT UNDERSTAND THE INCREASING EMPHASIS OF PURPOSE IN TODAY’S PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE IMPROVE THEIR ABILITY TO ATTRACT SUCH EMPLOYEES AND ALSO THEIR ABILITY TO RETAIN THEM FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME.”.
How to write your company values
Writing your company values often goes hand-in-hand with writing your mission and your vision. Typically, they are a few well-thought bullet points that outline what your virtues your company follows.
For example, global grocery chain Whole Foods has the following company values:
- We satisfy and delight our customers. Our customers are the lifeblood of our business and our most important stakeholder. We strive to meet or exceed their expectations on every shopping experience.
- We promote team member growth and happiness. Our success is dependent upon the collective energy, intelligence, and contributions of all of our Team Members.
- We care about our communities and the environment. We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each store is a direct reflection of a community’s people, culture, and cuisine.
- We practice win-win partnerships with our suppliers. We view our trade partners as allies in serving our stakeholders, and we treat them with respect, fairness, and integrity — expecting the same in return.
Start with what your company or brand stands for, does well, and how they impact those in contact with them. Then, flesh out those values in some bullet points in a “Top 10” style.
Most importantly, ensure all aspects of your organization actually honors these values and conducts business by them.
How do values in the workplace foster cohesiveness?
Let’s explore a scenario.
Say you’re a healthy beverage company with company values that honor health, wellness, sustainability, and a prosperous lifestyle. If your company’s brand envelopes these values, your company itself adopts these values in its workplace, and your employees also align with these values, it creates consistency across operations, creates a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and naturally curates and a synergized environment.
This has become increasingly more important as newer generations begin to enter the workforce. Gone are the days where an employee would “tough out” a job the hated or didn’t align with simply for security and stability.
Security and stability are no longer first-rate when compared to self-actualization, purpose, fulfillment, and finding meaning within your job or career. If a company wants to stay relevant, attract fresh, young talent, and stay competitive, it’s time to adopt organizational values and honor them.