If you’ve developed core business values that encapsulate what your business is about, it’s time to use them. The most effective core values tell the world what your company believes in, set out your organisation’s priorities, and guide your current and future activities.
An important way for HR to put core values to use is to make sure employees know and understand them. When your core values inspire and guide how your team behaves, there are lots of benefits for employees and your organisation.
When are business core values effective?
Before we talk about what the benefits are, let’s have a quick recap of how to make sure core values are effective. Your core values should be:
- Relevant and inspiring — employees need to understand how values relate to their roles and the company’s success, so avoid overly generic or wishy-washy words
- Communicated clearly to employees — not just through literature, but through training, reward programmes, and other initiatives
- Embraced by managers — employees might reject core values as a double standard if they see their superiors ignoring or flouting them
Core values can improve employee performance
When employees live the values that are most important to your business, performance can improve as a result. Employees who understand and believe in your core values can…
- Have a clearer understanding of their own role
- Know what the company is trying to achieve, and how they can contribute
- Know the values and attitudes they need to adopt to perform at their best
- Use your core values to guide their actions in new or difficult situations
Core values can improve employee engagement
Engagement is a measure of how committed, energetic, and focused employees are in their approach to work. Disengaged employees are likely to put in less effort and want to leave your organisation. Engagement generally increases alongside job satisfaction and workplace morale.
Effective core values can increase engagement by creating a workplace culture built on principles that employees believe in. Employees might therefore find more fulfilment in their work.
Engagement benefits may be even greater where you involve employees in defining your core values, such as through consultation or surveys.
Attractive core values can lure top talent
Your core company values can also help you compete for the best talent, in three significant ways.
Firstly, when potential employees find your core values inspiring, they’re more likely to apply for a position. This could give you a wider candidate pool to select from. Inspiring core values might include things like ‘innovative’, ‘humble’, or ‘creative’.
Secondly, when your workplace is known for a strong culture built on real values, word can travel fast. Your reputation as an employer could grow, meaning more people will want to work for you.
And finally, core values don’t just help you recruit better-quality employees — they help you attract staff who are a better fit, too. When you include them in recruitment materials, such as job ads, you can attract people who already share your core values. These new hires are likely to fit well with your organisational culture.