Why core values are so important
In the second of a series of blogs on business improvement, Richard Hall outlines why core values are vital to business success.
Core values are clear and cogent action statements that define how you do business and what is important to you as a company.
They are not vague phrases such as ‘We do the right thing’ that can be interpreted subjectively. Nor are they the jargon-ridden product of an afternoon brainstorming session.
Values need to be specific and measurable because they influence your approach to recruitment, product decisions, customer relationships and every major decision you’ll have to make.
Values are discovered rather than invented. Your business will already have a way of doing things, of interacting with people internally and externally. Discovering your values is about articulating this ethos as a set of guiding principles.
Clarity and simplicity are crucial because core values have to be easily understood by the people you currently work with and those you want to work with.
Once you have outlined your values they must be integrated into everything you do as a leader and a team. Running a values-driven business is significantly harder than running one that pays lip service. For example, you will need to be much more selective when recruiting new team members.
However, in the longer term, productivity will rise because your people will be able to operate more cohesively and efficiently.
Similarly, profits may experience a short term dip, but by operating in line with your values you will soon set yourself apart in the market place – a crucial competitive advantage that will generate more new business wins.