Why your business needs outstanding company core values

What are company core values? A business’ culture emerges as a result of its company values, impacting everything from the company’s staff retention to its bottom line. Thus, the importance of company core values cannot be overstated in any conversation on how to run a successful business. Take action now and commit to cultivating your company values into every facet of your work, and you’ll develop the massive action plan you need to take your business to the next level.

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What are the core values of a company?

Company core values also referred to as corporate core values, are the fundamental principles or philosophies that guide an organization’s business decisions. Rather than a set of rules, company core values are more akin to a mission statement by which the business prioritizes its values as they play out in the market. When formed and implemented properly, company values govern everything from internal affairs to external consumer relations.

Importance of company core values

What is the importance of company core values? Forbes reports that more than half of executives agree that business core values influence all aspects of a business, from profitability to creativity. Entrepreneur reports a powerful statistic on the impact of corporate core values on staff turnover: When a business’ core values fail to create a rich company culture, turnover spikes from just 14% to a whopping 48%. Company values create the intangible culture that defines your company, for better or for worse.

Company culture is about much more than giving employees flex-time or having weekly happy hours. A strong organizational culture must be built on a solid foundation made up of company core values that are explained and embraced by all those who work for the business. These values dictate everything from how the team communicates with each other and the customers to how they implement and promote innovation in the workplace. When values are strong and modeled from the top-down, creativity blooms and customers take notice.

On the other hand, when core values are weak, confusing or missing from a company completely, employees and managers alike are left in the dark. They aren’t sure what’s expected of them and often do things that damage the company. This also poses a challenge for HR as they don’t have guidelines on how to hire superstars and are at risk of putting together a team that will fight each other over every decision.

Given the impact of company values on the day-to-day viability of your business, the importance of corporate core values emerges as a tool for fine-tuning the direction in which your business is going. By taking care to establish transparent core values that genuinely reflect their team and product, businesses are able to resonate with consumers and staff alike.

Examples of company core values

All around us are examples of executives who have done their due diligence in developing solid company core values and incorporating them into their day-to-day operations. These are the companies that stood the test of time, established customer loyalty and have turned their employees into raving fans who can’t stop talking about their employer.

These entrepreneurs know their company’s core values have to reflect their company’s vision and personality. They also understand that powerful company core values demonstrate the relationship between a business’ mission and its product. Here are some examples of business owners who have built an empire on company core values.

Soul Cycle company core values

SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan 

Created SoulCycle’s company core values to include an innovative workout culture and a tailored hiring process. Her efforts were met with success, and SoulCycle is now well known for its ability to attract loyal customers as well as staff.

Airbnb co-founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky 

Recognized the vitality of company core values in re-launching their business a number of times. Now, due to its diligence, Airbnb is one of the most well-recognized brands in the travel industry.

Air BNB company core values

Shake Shack company core values

Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer 

Created a world-class company culture demonstrative of the firm’s core values. Shake Shack is now nationally recognized not just for its product, but for its hospitality, too.

Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted

Oversees a global brand whose product embodies the company’s corporate core values. The firm employs the “3 C’s” – confidence, collaboration and creativity – to reach its mission of “being the best sports company in the world.” Adidas is a brand heralded for its sustainably-produced footwear and athletic apparel. Judging from Adidas’ numbers – the corporation has sold over 900 million units worldwide – its strategy is successful.

Adidas company core values

Ben and Jerrys company core values

Ben & Jerry’s CEO Matthew McCarthy

Oversees a brand whose core values are woven into a three-part mission: To have a sustainable impact through sound financial practices, equitable social investments and a product that sells itself. Ben & Jerry’s incorporates these values at each step of the production process.

Great company core values to have

1. Standardizing excellence

Use your business core values to shape a culture of excellence and respect. With consistency, excellence becomes standard practice for your company. Your reputation will follow suit.

2. Prioritizing relationships

When you prioritize relationships, it shows in every facet of your company. Before you make any business decision, think about what impact it will have on your customer and team. 

Company core values

Company core values

3. Treating people well

Businesses are like humans, so emotional intelligence is key. When you treat your team well, they’re able to treat your clients in kind, which creates the ultimate customer experience.

4. Adapting to meet your needs

Systemize innovation so your product is always evolving to meet your customer’s needs. Constant innovation creates a pipeline of raving fan customers

5. What you see is what you get

When you’re above-board about everything your company is doing, you gain the trust of your customers and team. Implement transparency at all levels of your business – your operations, sales procedures and company culture.

6. Valuing what you value

In today’s global markets, customers are increasingly aware of companies’ ethics. Research and embrace your target market’s priority ethics to create impactful company core values. 

Company core values

Company core values

7. Prioritizing (financial) sustainability

A company whose economic mission is sustainable demonstrates its commitment to longevity. Convey in word and deed that your financial model is viable.

8. Being obsessed 

When you’ve devoted a singular obsession to creating your product, your enthusiasm is infectious. With a world-class marketing strategy in place, the fruit of your obsession adds real value for your customers.

Selecting company values that resonate

Company values can be toxic and destructive when they do not align with the company’s actual day-to-day practices. When a company’s values are not readily apparent in everything the business does, cynicism quickly sets in among staff and clientele, poisoning the company’s reputation from the inside out. The impact of a company’s alignment with its value system is so pivotal, experts assert that it may be better to skip articulating your values if you don’t intend to stick to them. So, as you work to nail down your company core values, prioritize authenticity and understand that company values are meant to inspire employees into action versus punish them.

Look through the list above of great company core values to have. Which speak to you? Which describe the company you are building or want to build? What is the vision you had when you first decided to become an entrepreneur? It’s likely that picturing this will help you narrow down the values that are most important to you. After that, it’s just a matter of articulating them and creating a massive action plan around implementing them.

How to use company core values to grow your business

The influence of company values on your company’s success is so substantial you must learn to manage values effectively. With the right approach, you can leverage your business core values so that they contribute to your business’ growth. Read

1. Align employees and management around company values

For a business to be successful, it is absolutely essential that employees and management share the same company values. Make sure that all your training materials and marketing materials express the same message regarding your company core values.

2. Hand-pick your company core values

As a small business owner, you must be careful to choose company values that are both authentic and expressible. If you’re unable to live up to the values you espouse, you risk turning off your market due to your inconsistency.

Company core values

Company core values

3. Find a mentor for building company values into your business operations

To better understand the importance of company core values, let’s consider Zappos as an example. Zappos is a company well-known for intentionally cultivating its (zany, creative) corporate culture to attract and retain committed staff and raving fans. To create its company culture, Zappos developed 10 core values (including “create fun and a little weirdness”), which it then incorporated into everything from staff job descriptions to hiring protocol to on-the-job training. By creating a value-based method of operations that’s obvious to everyone engaged with the company, Zappos now enjoys record success.

4. Find inspiration to transform your company core values

Few people understand the importance of company values as well as Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery panel guests, all of whom have walked the gauntlet of launching and managing a successful business. Look to the experts to uncover how to manage core values so that they propel your company in the right direction.

Company core values

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