Does your company have a clear set of brand values? Does everyone in your organization work with these values in mind? Core values are one piece of the components that make up your company’s brand. These values are the pillars of your company messaging and make up the ideas on which your brand is built.
Having a strong set of core values can help ensure that all of your employees–from leadership to entry-level–work towards a common goal with a shared purpose.
Mission vs. Vision vs. Values
Other key components of a company’s foundation include the mission and vision. These elements support each other overall but shouldn’t be confused with the values, which shape the why and the what.
Mission: The why behind the work. The reason behind a company’s existence.
Vision: A company’s goals for the future and what they hope to achieve, or the problem they wish to solve.
Values matter because they humanize your business. They guide stories, actions and most importantly, behaviors.
Maintaining Your Values is an Ongoing Process
Clearly defined values are the first step towards building trust and loyalty with your employees. Another step is how you train and empower your employees on these values. Beyond being words on a wall, how do you expect them to show up and exhibit these values each day? As a leader, how can you ensure they are representing those values in their interactions?
These questions–and the answers–shape your overall company culture.
According to research by Dr. Brené Brown, around 10% of companies actually operationalize their values into observable behaviors that people are taught and held accountable for. The result is often culture misalignment, which can arise when there’s a disconnect between core values and how the organization operates daily. This misalignment can cause people to feel splintered by their personal and professional values, i.e., who they are, and who they are at work.
Disengagement at work comes from a misalignment in values. Do your words and actions as a leader set an example for the expectations you place on employees? If you’re not leaning into the values, you risk having higher levels of employee disengagement, higher turnover, and inefficiencies in your systems and processes.