If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
We’ve heard it countless times before, but the saying stands true – especially for companies and organizations. A company that doesn’t stand by its core values (or doesn’t have any to stand by) will struggle to define who they are and what they represent, which can affect everything from internal engagement to brand recognition. In contrast, a company that defines and lives by its values will see internal growth, happier employees and a stronger sense of direction for the future of the organization. Therefore, it is important for new hires and current employees alike to understand the importance of company values.
The Importance of Company Values and Their Benefits
Your company may have a mission statement, or a list of values printed somewhere on your website and in the employee handbook. But do your employees actually live and breathe those values every day? It is important to not only have your company values written and publicized, but also continually emphasized and replicated in your everyday workplace culture.
Here are a few tangible reasons for prioritizing company values at your organization:
Hiring Better Employees
Corporate values work as a signaling strategy that can attract like-minded employees and filter-out less suitable ones. For example, if your company values environmental sustainability, and you encourage or incentivize your employees to adopt eco-friendly practices like having a compost pile or drive electric cars to work, people with similar values will likely take notice and want to work there too. Likewise, if you have strong corporate values that drive who you hire, you will likely find it easier to both find and select the right candidates, and be happier with your choice in the long run. By consistently hiring based on your values, you’ll create a workplace that recognizes and supports those values as well, fostering higher employee engagement and retention.
Helping Employees Grow
Employees who believe in your values and mission will not only respect them, but also put them to use in their own personal and professional lives. A company that trains its employees to take responsible actions and to let go of ego, for example, will encourage its employees to be more teachable in other areas, possibly helping them make better decisions. People want to be inspired by the companies they work for, and by understanding the importance of company values, they will work harder and embrace those values themselves.
Experiencing Increased Engagement
If you can encourage your employees to live and work by your company values, they will feel more united and inclined to participate in company activities and initiatives. Whether they came on board already aligned with your values, or you’ve repeatedly inspired them over the years, employees that can see that the company at a whole “walks the talk” will undoubtedly be more engaged in their work and more proud to work where they do.
Strengthening Company Culture
It goes without saying that the more value an employee gets out of the experience of working at a company, the more they will likely want to continue to work there. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the higher your company-wide engagement (see above), the stronger your company culture, and the more compelled your employees will likely be to want to go to work each day (or stick around).
Improving Employee Productivity
Workers who fit in with the company culture are also likely to work through difficult problems, find creative solutions and collaborate across teams. This contributes to increased productivity at work, and a great feeling of accomplishment when goals are met. Thus, by enabling a strong workplace culture centered around the importance of company values, employees will not only feel happier or more engaged at work, but also be significantly more productive.
When to Hire a Professional Human Resource Consulting Firm
While there are plenty of organizations that have an extensive list of generic values that supposedly define what the company is about, you can bet that many of them are not tailored to the type of employees they want to attract, nor the type of workplace that actually exists. We hope this article has provided some insight into why defining your organizations core values simply can not be ignored. Unfortunately, putting in the effort to define, communicate, and actualize your company values takes a considerable amount of effort, time that many companies don’t have.
In these moments, it can be extremely beneficial to hire a human resources consulting firm. Smart HR can ask around, do research, and consult with employees and corporate leaders alike to determine your values, document them, and train managers on how to effectively incorporate them into everyday workplace culture. Contact us today to learn more about the importance of company values.