She killed off our company’s monthly meeting.
It was how she killed it that was her big mistake.
And it was this mistake that eventually ousted her as the company’s CEO.
The monthly meeting was a time for people to bond that either normally wouldn’t see each other. It was at best a tolerable experience, but one that was necessary to keeping our company together.
She killed the meeting by just letting it fade away. People whispered about why it stopped happening, but there was no explanation.
Every person/organization is guided by a set of core values that helped them make quality decisions. The company never had any core values. We had a generic vision and mission statement, but no core values.
I now realize that if this company I worked for had core values in place there would have been more people watching for the company’s health. They would have been more likely to say something when the company began to decline.
The core values of a company is the foundation that can support a great company. If they aren’t created, shared, talked about, and used then a company can easily lose its way.
These core values should also be created by department/team in the organization. An IT department will have different core values than the marketing department.
So let’s look at what you can do to create your own core values so when the company needs help there will be people there to step up.
Here is the 5 step process to create core values at your company:
- Ask Your Employees What They Think the Company/Team Believes In
Your employees have a very solid idea of what the company stands for. You need to capture these ideas and incorporate them into your core values. When you incorporate your employees’ ideas into what the company believes in you get a stronger document that employees can use to guide their choices.
As you think about putting your core values all in one place you must ask yourself what you believe the company believes in. The creator of the document needs to take the task very seriously. That’s why founders and CEO’s should be a major influencer in how the document reads. They created and run the company because they believed in the vision and impact the company can and does have on the world.
- Compile all the Best Values into One Document
Now that you have everyone’s input, put all the ideas into one document. See how they look and feel. Don’t feel you need to create this document in one week. This should be a process that happens over time so you can capture the true soul of the company.
- Combine Similar Values Together
Many of the ideas will be similar. Look at how you can combine them into one value. Is there a theme that two or more values can fit into one?
- Be Efficient with Your Values (5 – 10 work best for most companies)
I encourage companies to create no more than 10 values because too many values and they lose their impact. You want a concise, economical and memorable list that really gets to the heart of the company’s beliefs.
- Publish Your Core Values Internally and Externally
When you have your core values list. I always suggest that people publish them for employees and customers to see. Zappos puts their core values all over their building. They are a constant reminder of how employees should act and grow.
Honest Company does the same thing. They call them “Our Principles”.
When your company puts out its core values into the world, your people will challenge themselves to live up to the values that everyone created.
Bonus tip: Review Your Core Values Once a Year
As your company grows you should talk about your company’s core values should be discussed. Talking about why they exist and how they helped guide choices can reinforce the importance of having everyone live by the core values of the company.
Does your company have a set of values that helps guide employees’ choices as they navigate their work?
You can learn more about how to incorporate core values into your company improving happiness and engagement. Just click here and we can set up a consultation to see what happiness tools you can use at your company.
P.S. This is not meant to be a quick fix. Core values should be the start of building a company that believes in it's mission to make people's lives better by improving what they create.