If you look closely at successful companies you will find they have all devoted significant time and resource to identifying, describing, and embedding their core values.
But what came first? Are these companies successful because they live their core values or were they already successful before undertaking this work? Is this a chicken and egg situation? The fact that companies like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, BP, and Netflix assign so much importance to living and breathing their core values is one indication of how crucial they are to their success.
In fact, when asked what he would do differently if he were to start his company all over again, Tony Hsieh, CEO of US retailer, Zappos said:
«If I could go back and do Zappos all over again I would actually come up with our values from day one. We actually didn’t always have values. It wasn’t until about five years into it that we rolled out our values.»
Considering his business was recently bought by Amazon for $1.2billion, the fact that this is the one thing he would do differently is a powerful statement.
Here are three reasons to stand by your Core Values:
Recruit and retain talent
Netflix’s easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive description of values is published on their website. Here, they communicate the company’s ethos, purpose, and ambitions. They provide a clear and thorough impression of what it means to be a Netflix employee, partner, and customer.
Netflix hire and fire based on their core values. This ensures they attract individuals who share their values and are committed to helping the company achieve its vision. If you fail to uphold your core values, you risk recruiting the wrong candidates. This could result in a high employee turnover, or employees who are unengaged and who lack motivation.
Make the right decisions
If your company truly embodies their core values, decision making is simple. Let’s say you quote a customer for a large piece of work. Your client tries to knock you down on price. You know that in order to complete the work to a high standard, you cannot cut corners or devote less time to it. On the other hand, you don’t want to turn down the work and lose the client. If one of your core values is integrity, you know discounting the price would mean you couldn’t devote the necessary time to delivering work you are proud of. When guided by your core values, the choice becomes obvious.
Maintain a competitive advantage
Distinguishing your service or product from your competition’s offering becomes a race to the bottom when you focus on price. Today’s customers want more from businesses. Will you always do what you say you will, when you say you will? Do you give back to the community? Are you environmentally conscious? Companies that embody their core values attract customers that respond to those values.
Your core values are your unique selling point!
It is all very well debating and drawing up lists of your company’s core values, but not standing by those values will hold your business back. The best way to ensure your values permeate every level of your organisation is through successful implementation. This is where gamification becomes a powerful tool. Our innovative solution utilises the latest technology to embed your core values by exciting and uniting your workforce. We consistently help companies to keep their values at the forefront of their team’s mind by implementing them in a fun and engaging way.