In the current job market, so many employers are dealing with the challenges of hiring new talent while also balancing the state of employee retention. One strategy that helps on multiple fronts is for the company to fully embrace its core values.
Core values are often undervalued or even ignored, but they can be a powerful tool when nurtured into the guideposts of the organization. When a company’s leaders live the core values, it creates a unique and welcoming atmosphere. It can differentiate a company attracting new talent. It can engage current employees, and that engagement can lead to retaining the team members already in place in an organization.
Core Values Give Employees A Sense of Purpose
A value-based system gives employees something to support. By defining the principles your team believes in, your team will support that value system with their everyday work and decisions, which will drive performance and productivity.
Core values that are strongly supported give teams a sense of commitment which allows them to rally together, contributing to something larger than themselves, contributing to the team.
“Only 53 percent of survey respondents felt their organizations are effective or very effective at creating meaningful work.”
Various, 4/11/2019, accessed 8/19/2021, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/human-capital-trends/2019/workforce-engagement-employee-experience.html
Live Your Core Values
Choosing to run your business with values as the primary guide can be difficult. It requires repetition, practice, and dedication to make it work, but the success in those practices can be very real.
For core values to truly influence and shape a company’s success, they need to be more than a statement in an employee handbook. it’s important to live your core values, not just talk about them.
Core values need to be ingrained in the daily workplace. Living by your values gives meaning and purpose to your work. The more you are able to work according to your values, the more rewarding your work will be, the longer you will want to keep doing that work.
“47% of people actively looking for a new job pinpoint company culture as the main reason for wanting to leave. (Hays)
If you want to improve both employee retention and profitability, prioritize improving company culture. Some of the top ways to create a better company culture include increasing transparency, nurturing stronger coworker relationships, and recognizing and rewarding performance.”
Daniel Ku, 7/7/2020, accessed 8/19/2021, https://www.postbeyond.com/blog/26-employee-engagement-stats/
Imagine that one of your core values is “Collaborative” – how is that represented in the workplace? Look at the work environment and consider if the workspace – whether in person or online – supports collaboration.
- Does the office have spaces for meeting together?
- Does everyone have a list of everyone’s phone numbers to jump on a quick call to bounce ideas around?
- Is there a chat or messaging platform for quick collaboration online?
- Is the break room large enough for a few people to gather and have those spontaneous conversations?
Let’s say “Innovative” is a core Value of your business. Are your teams and processes set up to support innovation?
- Are your managers and leaders going to support new ideas if those ideas take them out of their comfort zone?
- Will there be budget to support testing those innovative changes?
- Is the business willing to devote time to update processes and retrain employees for those ideas that work?
Make Decisions Based on Core Values
Core values must be considered in decisions on just about everything – team building activities, team structures, vendor relationships, employee reviews, etc.
When you run your business decisions through the core values filter, everything in your business is based on the same set of values. This practice ensures that financial and operational decisions both match the system of values and can more easily be adopted and collectively supported.
58 percent of companies with an articulated, understood sense of purpose experienced over 10 percent growth, compared to just 42 percent of companies that don’t make purpose a priority (LinkedIn and Imperative’s 2016 Workforce Purpose Index)
Jeff Previte, 8/21/2020, accessed 8/20/2021, https://www.business2community.com/workplace-culture/the-best-company-culture-statistics-in-2020-to-help-you-improve-productivity-02337682
Celebrate When Employees Demonstrate Core Values
Company leaders should teach themselves the practice of recognizing when team members demonstrate the values. It does take practice, but it is incredibly valuable to recognize and celebrate when employee behavior exemplifies values.
Everyone enjoys recognition and appreciation of their work. Recognition practices give real examples of your core values at work among your team. Recognition programs are powerful for inspiring, for encouraging collaboration, and for employees to be proud of their efforts.
63% of people who are “always” or “usually” recognized at work consider themselves “very unlikely” to seek a new job in the next 3-6 months
Colette Des Georges, 6/18/2019, accessed 8/19/2021, https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/employee-recognition-and-retention/
Every team in a workplace should celebrate the “wins” regularly.
Retain More of Your Top Performers with Excelerant
Core values show employees and prospective candidates who you are as a company and what you value. When your employees know who they are working for, they can be more effective and be more satisfied in their work.
The professionals at Excelerant can help in the creation and implementation of core values and in structuring a living value system.
Phyllis Arceneaux, NCC – Phyllis is an award-winning consultant with years of experience as an entrepreneur in both business-to-business and consumer-focused industries which allows her to make powerful connections and generate instant rapport whether in the board room or in the field. A certified coach for over 29 years, she is known as an exceptional facilitator with an eye to bottom-line impact.