All organizations have Core Values. Few organizations memorialize them; almost none manage them.
Organizations tend to be meshed together by a unique blend of personal and corporate values. These values are important to its employees, leaders and stakeholders.
What exactly is a Core Value? A Core Value from our human resources perspective is one that reflects the heart of your organization. It is what makes your organization tick; it defines your organization. It is how your vendors view your behavior toward them; it is your culture when dealing with customers.
It is what employees tell their neighbors and friends when they ask what it is like to work at your organization.
One of the most important aspects of Core Values is where they come from. Core Values need to be shared across the organization, but they also need to have a reference point. Your Core Values should include a statement highlighting that reference point.
We are a family-owned and operated organization. As such, we respect each other and collectively support the following Values in the way in which we do business and treat each other both internally and externally to the organization.
Efficiency: We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!
Individual Responsibility: We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises and we always endeavor to use good judgment.
Quality: We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.
Ownership: We own our decisions, we own our mistakes, we own our achievements.
If you have not yet defined what your Core Values are, it may be time for you to solidify an agreement on which Core Values are important to your organization. This should be done with care, because, by now, leaders and employees have created their own values, and they are not always aligned with the owners or senior managers.
In the development of Core Values for a seasoned organization, the process should be shared, not just top down. Brainstorming should include several layers of employees and are often best done in focus group format, where groups of employees nominate a representative to meet with the facilitator, and the ensuing Core Values should be agreed upon and understood.
Naturally, there are some Core Values that are nonnegotiable, such as Trust or Integrity but the core value, the true heart of the organization, is what is valued collectively by employees, and is not necessarily always what the top leaders think or want.
How many Core Values do you need?
Some companies have as many as ten Core Values. We believe that ten Core Values is too many. Instead, we recommend three to five Core Values. Fewer Core Values not only ensures that these are your true core principles but, also makes it easier for your employees to remember them easily. It is also easier to manage within your HR processes.
Below is a laundry list of the Core Values we have compiled that we find most valuable, to enable you to best select what is truly most important to your organization.
Accountability — We are responsible for our actions, which, in turn, influence our customers, vendors and coworkers. We hold ourselves and each other to a high standard of accountability.
Balance — We create a work environment that promotes healthy lifestyles and celebrates family-work balance for employees.
Biblical Principles — We are a company founded on Biblical principles, therefore, all we do we entrust in God.
Civic Responsibility — We honor our coworkers and our communities by our motivation, knowledge and ability to actively participate in our communities as volunteers and leaders.
Compassion — We show kindness for others by helping those who are in need.
Courage — We face difficult situations with confidence and determination, standing up for our convictions, even when some of the decisions we make are right, but not popular.
Commitment — We are committed to ourselves, our vendors, and our customers; it is through commitment that we will all achieve.
Community — We are committed to the communities in which we do business and our employees live, work and love.
Consistency — We pride ourselves on our reputation for consistency.
Diversity — We respect diversity of race, gender, thought, interests, and ideas.
Efficiency — We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!
Empowerment — We create an atmosphere that allows others to achieve through their unique contributions.
Fairness — We pride ourselves on having a work environment that emulates fairness. We treat people equally and make decisions without influence from favoritism or prejudice.
Fun — Work does not need to be painful or joyless.
Honesty — We believe in consistently seeking and speaking the truth in the workplace. We believe in a workplace devoid of lying, cheating, stealing, or any other forms of deception.
Individual Responsibility — We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises, and we always use good judgment.
Industriousness — We realize the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of putting forth efforts to achieve our goals; we celebrate our team’s unique abilities to contribute to prospering our organization.
Innovation — We create before others do!
Integrity — Without integrity, we are nothing!
Justice — We consider the perspectives of others and demonstrate the courage to be consistently fair while treating all with equal dignity and respect.
Leadership — We lead with conviction and understanding.
Ownership — We own our decisions; we own our mistakes; we own our achievements.
Passion — We love what we do, and our heart goes into our work.
Quality — We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.
Respect — We maintain a work style of trust in all our interactions.
Respect — We value our vendors, our customers and ourselves; we treat others as we would want ourselves to be treated.
Risk Taking — We take calculated risks, learn from our mistakes, and grow in our successes.
Safety — We are accountable for our personal safety and helping our coworkers maintain a safe environment.
Service Excellence — We provide best in class service to our internal and external customers every day.
The best Core Value is one that you and your teams identify and create together. Please post below what your experiences have been with Core Values and share a list of those values that you think are integral to every organization.