Core values are the basis of a company’s DNA and a set of leading principles that determine what a company stands for. Your values support your vision, shape the culture of the business and importantly help you make the best hiring decisions. Values can also help to maintain a consistent culture across remote employees or those working flexibly, something that has increased since the pandemic. 33% of people surveyed said the startup they worked for does not have clear values, so, what are the key benefits of formalizing your values early on and where do you start?

Benefits of formalizing your values

1. Values help you to hire the right people

If you define your values early on, your hiring process is instantly easier – you know what traits and attitudes you need to hire for. Building in interview questions around your values means you hire people who have the traits needed for your business.

2. Values can help maintain your culture as you grow

Early stage ventures can grow quickly, and it is much easier to maintain a culture than try and change a bad one. By having values, you not only hire the right people for your culture but by regularly communicating them you can help keep culture consistent across new offices and remote employees.

3. Values attract candidates to your business

Having a clear set of values helps you to attract people to your company, especially if they can see what they stand for and believe in is mirrored in your business.

4. Values help you to achieve your overall goal and purpose

Values impact every decision in your business and having everyone understanding and being bought into your values will have an impact on growth and performance.

So, where do you start?

There will already be existing ‘values’ in your business, so start with getting feedback from your employees on what they believe the values are currently and what they should be going forwards. You also want to make sure the values you end up with resonate with your company’s brand, mission, and vision. The values are what your company stands for, and this will help steer everything else. No one outside of your company can create your values as they need to come from within the business, but here are some questions to help steer you in the right direction:

·       What personal values do you or your team members exhibit that you’re proud of?

·       What characteristics do you and your team members share? Can you resonate with these? Are you passionate about these?

·       What is it about your company, your team or yourself that will resonate with your target customers?

·       How are you different to your competitors? What is it you do better?

·       What behaviors do you need to demonstrate to ensure your company achieves its goals?

How to ingrain your values into your business

Ensure your team is bought in

The values will be relayed to all of your customers and future business relationships as well as influencing your future hiring strategy, so ensure everyone is bought in and take on board any feedback you receive.

Promote your values publicly

State your company values plain and simply. This gives accountability to everything you do going forward and lets future employees know what you truly stand for.

Display and promote them internally

Your values don’t want to be just put up on your wall and left. They need to be part of all teams and all employees need to know the values and see and hear them often enough for it to become ingrained into the company culture. Praise your employees for living the values through incorporating them into annual awards or bonus structures.

Implement them into your hiring process

Make sure to ask questions around your values during your interview processes, and ensure each candidate knows this is something the company lives and breathes.