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.
Oftentimes as I meet with people to talk about bettering their HR practices, I use the term “Kingdom Minded” company.” More often than not, they are intrigued by the terminology I use in reference to helping them build their companies. Many Christian business people, pastors and Christian business consultants may have their own opinions or definitions of what a “Kingdom Minded” company is.
I have developed what I believe to be a fairly clear, actionable and measurable way to articulate what a “Kingdom Minded” company is, thus exciting business owners to invest their time, dollars and energy into making their company prosperous and reflective of Christ. So, let me begin by outlining what comprises the framework when building a “Kingdom Minded” company.
Over the next few weeks, I will walk us through a more in-depth look at each piece of the framework. I will ask you to look internally at what you believeyour “Kingdom Minded Purpose” is for your company. In building a “Kingdom Minded” company, the model I have developed contains the following ingredients, listed in order of importance.
These same principles that apply to marketplace businesses do apply to non profit organizations as well.
A “Kingdom Minded” company:
- Puts Christ First
- Has a Clear Mission
- Has a Clear Vision
- Has Core Values
Has agreed upon Goals and Objectives, especially in:
- Customer Service
And finally, Strives for Prosperity jointly for the good of its owners, employees and company’s community.
If you want to enjoy prosperity, you must look inward and address these critical aspects of running your organization.
Having spent over 20 years in HR I can tell you companies that have a well developed and bought-in Mission, Vision and Values will far exceed those who do not. Take a look inside your own organization. Do you have a Mission? A Vision? Core Values? How are you with setting or receiving expectations through organization goals and objectives? Do you collectively work together as a Team for success and prosperity?
Today’s churches sit empty. More than any other time in history, your employees spend increased amounts of time commuting to and from work, working in their workplaces, and working evenings and weekends, disengaged from their families and communities. These increased hours have resulted in employees spending more waking hours at work than they spend at home with their families, with friends or volunteering in their communities. Because of this, we all have an opportunity and a mission: a mission to reach those who need saving. This is the world’s untapped harvest, a field of opportunity. And, as God proclaims, we need more workers into his fields.
Matthew 9: 35-38 (NIV) The Workers Are Few 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
In the United States, according to a December 2008 Galluppoll, 42 percent of U.S.residents — that’s about 128 million Americans — claim that they attend religious services at least once every week. This number is probably misleading, because many people may embellish their attendance a bit out of a sense of guilt or obligation. However, assuming it is accurate, that still leaves a whopping 58 percent of U.S. residents who do not attend any form of religious service each week. This is a concern, because it indicates that, statistically speaking, your employees are probably not spiritually grounded.
This is where Christian business owners and executives
must step in to help God fill the void.
As a human resources professional with 20 years of experience in both public and private companies, I can tell you from firsthand experience that the lack of faith in our workplace affects every aspect of the workplace. Employees’ lack of time to focus on their own spiritual needs will undoubtedly affect productivity, quality and safety. Harder to measure but just as important, it affects their and their coworkers’ morale. Employees lacking in faith will bring far more problems to the workplace than those who are seeking God or are Christ followers.
You can try to run your business without God.
Or you can include Him in your plans.
I urge you to include Him.
God is the ultimate business partner!
Therefore, those of us who are hesitant to embrace Christianity in the workplace must really look at it, not only from a spiritual perspective, but also from a business perspective. Far from being self-serving, this conveys the responsible attitude of a business owner, attempting to prosper their business for the financial security and future of their employees and employees’ families.
Makes Financial Sense
Leading a company with Christ-centered values just makes good business sense. I believe that Christ-centered organizations can experience:
- Lower absenteeism
- Higher quality products
- Fewer employee morale issues
- Safer work environments
- Better perceptions by customers and vendors
What I have found to work
You must have a Vision, Mission, and Core Values. Many business professionals stop there. I urge all of you to go further. Integrate your core values
into your Human Resources practices. This will:
- Memorialize your standards
- Provide guiding principles in all you do
- Make your values easily understood by employees
- Drive a values-based culture with your customers
Don’t just hang your Vision, Mission, and Core Values on the wall! Integrate, Integrate and then Integrate some more. Get your values into your culture and make it an intrinsic part of the way you work.
I believe that employees who work for an outwardly faith-based Christian organization are committed at a different level than those in non-faith-based organizations. Employees are more likely to go the extra mile, to trust their leadership, to deliver on their promises and be led by those who demonstrate Christ-like servant leadership, because they can!
Feel free to reach out to me and ask for my assistance in helping you develop and prosper a “Kingdom Minded” company. Contact Us
Have you worked for a company that has been outward in their faith? What were some of the obstacles the leadership faced? What were some of the benefits that the company enjoyed because of their desire to lead with principles? What’s your opinion? we would like to know.
Post your comments below-