For businesses to benefit and bring value to their organization and its customers, they should first establish core values to serve as principles for their culture, identity, goals, direction, and more.
The metaphorical glue, the beacon of light—there are a thousand ways to describe core values, but ultimately, it’s a shared purpose that should be the driving force throughout an organization.
We at T&S strive to follow our core values! Without core values in place, it would be difficult to have any guidance regarding decision-making, hiring, communicating, operating—everything. Basically, things might look a little chaotic without them!
There are a million reasons why organizations need core values, but let’s talk about the ones I think are most important.
- Independent decisions: When everyone on your team knows and understands the company’s core values, it’s easier for everyone to make decisions that fit the culture.
- Hiring: Core values make the hiring process so much better and help businesses hire people who are the right fit for their culture.
- Company brand: Your brand isn’t all about logos, taglines, etc. A brand is how and what people feel about your company. Core values establish who you are as a business.
- Trust: A company that has value is easier to trust and want to do business with. The more you follow your values, the better your reputation.
- Growth: Values drive growth through the reputation you have built. You are more likely to attract people who agree with your values, which, in turn, drives business growth.
Defining core values
Unfortunately, you can’t slap a bunch of meaningful words onto a piece of paper and call it your core values. They have to have meaning—a how and why—behind them. Defining your values is crucial before you can even start following them.
Vague statements like “customer service” are essentially meaningless, and let’s be honest, we can all do better than that!
When defining your values, think about the things you value in your personal life. Be specific and intentional in turning your values into actions. Let’s move on to some examples of core values.
Our core values
Our team sat down and came up with our own core values that we feel represent both what we believe in and how we strive to be. It sounds easy, right? Nope! We had a very long list of words to choose from, but only some of them stood out to us with true meaning:
- Teamwork: We are a small business with professionals who work together as a team, whether it’s with a specific project, a problem, workload, or just life in general. We are here for each other, ready and willing to help one another.
- Relationships: Building relationships is how we have managed to accumulate such amazing, loyal clients.
- Balance: We are huge on having a work-life balance, which we have written about in the past. It prevents too much stress, overwhelmingness, and burn out.
- Expertise: Knowledge is key and expertise is power. We aim and are proud to be the experts our clients can rely on.
- Passion: We love the work we do, and we have a lot of passion for it!
- Gratitude: We enjoy working with nonprofits and have done so for 18 years. Our efforts go toward helping nonprofits to express our gratitude for nonprofits and the hard work they do.
Now that you know ours, it’s time to create yours! Core values provide a structure of continuity, and it’s the common ground to work back or forward from. Every company needs a set of core values to follow to have structure and guidance, as well as ensure your company’s success.