Corporate values matter. At the core of every successful business is a clear set of values that guide decision-making and help employees perform at their best. These values are more than just words on a website – they are principles that define what your company stands for, and enable consistent brand messaging across teams.
Whether you’re looking to hire new talent, engage your teams or develop stronger relationships with customers, corporate values should be at the heart of every decision you make. If you are looking to take your brand to the next level, start by defining your corporate values and putting them into action!
Core Values Definition & Principles
The Cambridge Dictionary gives a single definition of values: “The principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations.”
Values are not just meant to inspire people, but to promote action. They are a blueprint from which to establish policy, direct vision, and navigate challenges.
At the core of every successful business are corporate values that serve as guiding principles for decision-making and help employees perform at their best. These values should reflect your company’s purpose – why it exists – and set it apart from other businesses in your industry.
Sarah Keates, founder of WOI said,
Without wishing to insult anyone’s intelligence, it’s important that brands think carefully about their values before they announce them. Consumers and B2B peer groups are fatigued with brands paying lip service to values at convenient times (Pride month, Black History Month, Earth Day). At WOI, we guide our clients towards establishing and communicating their values. If these include, for example, ESG, there needs to be evidence of a clear sustainability policy. Correctly, brands are being scrutinised over their position on values and it’s important to act “beyond the words” and evidence substantive intention and action. Part of our role is to ensure the words used reflect the company’s intentions.
6 Reasons Corporate Values Drive Business Succes
Help Employees Perform at Their Best
When corporate values are clearly defined and easy to understand, employees are able to apply them in their day-to-day work activities. This helps to create a strong sense of purpose and unity across teams, and can improve employee morale and productivity.
Improve Internal Communications
We are likely all familiar with toxic work environments. Email battles, micro-aggressions, throwing colleagues “under the bus”, wasted resources, and fear cultures. The list of potential negative workplace issues is be endless. Values help to provide some guidance out of the messiness of toxic work culture.
I will always remember the first place I worked that used the term “blame culture” – as in “we do not operate in a blame culture”. When you remove blame, you remove fear, you allow for creativity and greatness. Values help to provide a foundation to corporate culture that keep everyone on the same page.
Sarah Keates, founder of WOI
Employee Motivation & Engagement
Employees want to feel like they are contributing to a larger mission that aligns with their personal values. Corporate values can play a key role in fulfilling this. When employees feel proud of working for a company that has defined values, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work, putting forth their best effort to contribute to the success of the company.
In a CNBC/Momentive survey, 40% of workers say they would likely quit their job if their organisation took a stand on a political issue they do not agree with. Another survey found more than half wouldn’t even consider a position at a company that didn’t share their values.
Attract & Retain Top Talent
Additionally, corporate values can also help to attract new talent. When looking for a job, prospective employees want to know what the company stands for and what its core values are. By defining your corporate values and putting them into action, you can show prospective employees that you are a company that takes its principles seriously. This can help you to attract top talent and build a team of dedicated employees who share your company’s values.
Defining corporate values is also an important way to help new hires fit in quickly and feel like part of the team. When new employees know what the company stands for and understand its core values, they will be better equipped to make meaningful contributions right away.
Attract Clients That Share Your Values
Corporate values do more than just improve communication within the company – they can also help to improve communication with customers. Corporate values can play a key role in developing stronger relationships with customers. When customers know what your company stands for and what its core values are, they are more likely to do business with you in the future.
Values alignment is more important now than ever before. The clients we represent care about who they do business with and what they stand for. Of course, this won’t always be the case, but we’re seeing more and more weight put on values and how adherence to them.
Sarah Keates, founder of WOI
By communicating your corporate values clearly and effectively, you can show customers that you are a company that they can trust and that is committed to providing excellent service.
Enable Consistent Brand Messaging Across Teams
Developing corporate values is an important way to ensure that your company’s brand messaging remains consistent across all teams and departments. When everyone in the company knows and agrees to the corporate values, it becomes easier to create marketing materials and communications that reflect the company’s ethos. This can help to create a strong, unified brand image that customers will recognize and trust.
Additionally, corporate values can help to ensure that all employees are on the same page when it comes to customer service. By providing clear guidelines for how employees should interact with customers, corporate values can help to create a positive customer experience that reflects the company’s values and ideals.
WOI’s corporate values are Respect, Diversity and Inclusion, Social Impact and Sustainability, and Partnership.
Communicating your core values is essential to creating a successful company. What are your core values? Why do they matter? How do you communicate them to employees and customers