Unlocking Success: How Strong Company Values Build Thriving Workplaces and Bottom Lines
The company values is often assessed in financial terms, but it lies above all in the ability of managers to value employees. A person who gives the best of themselves values their work, their relationships, their company and values themselves.
When a company highlights its “values” in its annual report or on its website, it is to bring people together, build a culture, distinguish itself from its competitors and reach out to its external partners in a human way. Once these values have been defined, clarified and displayed, the difficulty is to align all behaviors with them. All levels of responsibility are affected by this challenge, especially the superior who, de facto, has a role model.
Individually, everyone can see how difficult this alignment with their own values is and how important it is for the development of the person. Because it is only at this level of concrete practice that a priority axis erected in “value” has all its value, that it takes on its qualitative dimension by positively impacting modes of operation that do good, give envy, unite teams and sustainably develop individual talents.
The values of a company are privileged axes of vigilance in professional practices, whether internal or external. The internal environment is made up of processes, but above all of people who are in “interaction” and whose quality of collaboration has an immediate impact on the quality of life at work as well as that of products and services judged by customers.
In today’s competitive landscape, a company’s value extends far beyond its financial reports. The true measure of success lies in the quality of its working relationships, which are fundamentally shaped by its core values. While financial indicators have their place, it’s the internal dynamics, fostered by shared values, that ultimately drive employee engagement, innovation, and sustainable growth. This article delves into the intricate link between company values and workforce well-being, highlighting practical strategies for building a values-driven culture that benefits both employees and the bottom line.
What are company values?
Company values are the guiding principles that underpin an organization’s culture and decision-making. They reflect the core beliefs and behaviors that the company deems essential for its success. These values serve as a compass for all stakeholders, influencing interactions, fostering collaboration, and shaping the company’s identity. Common examples include integrity, innovation, teamwork, customer focus, and social responsibility. By upholding and promoting these values, companies create a cohesive and ethical work environment, attract like-minded individuals, and foster long-term success.
Corporate values definition
Corporate values are principles that reflect the vision of the leader of the company. They are therefore at the heart of management in order to create a real corporate culture. The corporate culture, which is therefore based on values, must be supported by all employees in order to contribute to its proper development.
Example of corporate values
Here is, for example, a list of corporate values implemented in some companies:
- Audacity: the tendency to dare, to get out of your comfort zone to perform difficult actions or actions that you have never done;
- Respect: respect the other staff members but also each of the customers;
- Sharing: sharing successes and failures, cooperating;
- Commitment: to commit to accomplishing a task, a mission, to be involved in what we do;
- Innovation: always pushing innovation, ideas, novelties, new processes, etc. ;
- Excellence: aiming for excellence in all circumstances, to best satisfy its customers;
Integrity, quality, proximity, benevolence, etc.
Let’s take the example of Function: Support, which bases its corporate culture on:
- commitment (based on professionalism, trust and to be able to move forward);
- sharing (to understand each other, cooperate and go further);
- audacity (to seize the opportunity to do better, to always be one step ahead, and to grow);
- benevolence (to protect oneself and others, to progress and help others to progress, to want and make people want to move forward).
Why are Company Values Important?
As we have seen, the match between the values of the candidate and those of the company is essential to guarantee cohesion between the employee and the company. Indeed, the corporate culture is an essential element for the proper functioning and development of the organization. But that’s not all ! Strong company values offer a multitude of benefits:
- Attract and retain top talent: When values align with individual aspirations, employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated, leading to lower turnover and a more dedicated workforce.
- Boost employee well-being: A positive work environment built on shared values fosters trust, respect, and collaboration, contributing to greater job satisfaction and mental health.
- Enhance decision-making: Clear values provide a framework for ethical and responsible decision-making, minimizing risks and building trust with stakeholders.
- Drive innovation: A culture that encourages diverse perspectives and risk-taking, aligned with core values, fuels creativity and innovation, leading to a competitive edge.
- Improve customer experience: When employees are engaged and empowered by values, they deliver exceptional customer service, strengthening brand loyalty and driving success.
Having a defined and structured corporate culture and values is gradually becoming an important element in the context of recruitment. This can make the difference in the eyes of a job seeker. The values of the company promote the feeling of trust and belonging and help to retain employees. They will therefore be more efficient and will want to stay as long as possible within your company.
The value of a company is estimated by the quality of the service rendered or the product manufactured
It is therefore essential for a company to evaluate and measure the quality of these links before defining the new priority axes of its change, its new values. The same work is necessary for him externally if he wants to ensure that his customers are satisfied in their specific needs, taking into account the permanent evolution of constraints and techniques.
The value of a company is often and first considered quantitatively: it is measured using indicators such as market capitalization, turnover, profit, etc. In reality, it resides in that of his work, which is assessed by the quality of the service rendered or the product manufactured. Its appreciation is made by customers on a rational and technical level, but also on a relational and emotional level. More deeply still, the intrinsic value of a company is the quality of the working relations between its actors and its ability to value them individually and collectively.
The growth of this value depends on everyone, but above all on managers. There are three main ways for them to exercise their function. The first is the most basic and essential, that of the manager-manager: he is focused on the four questions of the short term: what, how, when and how much, the quantitative aspect of value. The second is that of the manager-leader, focused on the two medium-term questions: where – the vision – and why – the meaning. The third is that of the manager-coach concerned with the question of the long term – the who – by working to develop the talents and potential of each employee.
Help managers to evolve their function towards the postures of the leader and the coach
The material impossibility of adopting these three postures in parallel makes delegation necessary, which makes it possible to free up time on “management” to devote it to transmitting the vision, explaining the meaning and developing people. Helping managers to develop their function towards the postures of the leader and the coach is essential because they induce a new behavior of the collaborators: the manager-manager pushes them to carry out orders like good soldiers; the manager-leader motivates them by giving meaning to their work; and the manager-coach allows them to commit themselves by giving the best of themselves.
It is clear that a person who gives the best of themselves values their work, their relationships, their company and values themselves. Wanting to develop the value of your company therefore means going to this level of people without stopping at the process level. If the “values” displayed by a company are intended to concretely increase its total value, in every sense of the word, it is important that they are defined with the aim of improving working relations and that they are diffused to using training at all levels of responsibility.
Such a vision is not idealistic: it gives financial value its rightful place, as the consequence that “results” from the performance of the tools and the quality of the working relationships. The latter being conditioned by the individual commitment induced by the attention of the manager to the development of each one.
How do you communicate company values?
To effectively communicate the values and culture of your company, you must first describe them expressly, through an easily searchable medium (poster, welcome booklet, slideshow, etc.) so that everyone understands them (especially your employees and future recruits) and be on the same wavelength.
Then, you must embody and communicate the values to employees, so that everyone gets attached to them and conveys them in turn. Indeed, act according to the values of your organization and show them to your staff. Then encourage your employees to act according to these values without forgetting to congratulate them when they act in coherence.
If one of your employees is not acting in line with your company’s values, correct them with kindness. Your goal is to understand why discrepancies occur and, then, to (re)explain to him the interest of corporate values, their purpose and their impact so that he can in turn embody them.
Why is it important to communicate them?
The values of a company are essential for its proper functioning. In a recruitment logic, their importance is sometimes greater than the very skills of the candidates (hard skills). In particular, they make it possible to avoid a possible error in recruitment.
Therefore, take the time to formalize, communicate and above all to embody these values in order to guarantee the long-term operation of your company as well as more efficient recruitment!
Beyond Words: Putting Values into Action
Defining values is just the first step. The true impact lies in bringing them to life through consistent actions and leadership commitment:
- Leadership by example: Leaders must embody the values in their daily interactions, setting the tone for the entire organization.
- Transparent communication: Clearly communicate values to all stakeholders, explaining their meaning and their role in everyday work.
- Value-driven recruitment: Seek candidates who resonate with your company’s values, ensuring cultural fit and long-term success.
- Recognition and rewards: Recognize and reward employees who exemplify the company’s values, reinforcing desired behaviors and motivating others.
- Open feedback and dialogue: Encourage open communication and feedback on how values are being lived, fostering continuous improvement and alignment.
Examples of Companies Putting Values into Action:
- Zappos: Known for its “happiness quotient” in hiring and its focus on customer service excellence.
- Patagonia: Embraces environmental responsibility and activism, attracting like-minded employees and customers.
- Google: Fosters innovation and collaboration through its “10x culture” and employee-driven initiatives.
Cultivating a strong company culture based on shared values isn’t just a feel-good practice; it’s a strategic imperative. By prioritizing quality working relationships and investing in fostering values-driven behaviors, companies unlock a powerful force for employee engagement, innovation, and ultimately, sustainable success. Remember, values are not just words on a wall; they are the living DNA of your organization, shaping its present and defining its future.
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