Coming up with a creative list of company core values that make sense for your business is tricky. It takes a lot of time, work, and research. Not to mention, the blank page can kill creativity. Where do you even start drafting your company values? In this blog, we want to provide inspiration to help you get started.
What Are Company Core Values?
Company core values are the behaviors and principles that a company lives by. These values should represent the way the company does business or, at least, aspires to conduct business.
Common core values you might see would include things like “Integrity” or “Continuous Improvement.”
But companies often have a list of core values (about five) to make up their specific culture and ways of working.
Why You Need Strong Core Values for Your Business
Core values are so important because they offer a blueprint for employees to understand how they are expected to conduct themselves. They also signify to your customers what they can expect from you as an organization.
But even more so, core values are being a critical part of the recruiting and talent retention process. People want to work at companies that share similar values to them. So, when people look for jobs, your company values are a key consideration point for them.
That’s why it’s so important for your values to be unique and thoughtful. By not having very generic values, you can set yourself apart from other companies and be more competitive with recruiting top talent.
Statistics That Show Why Values Matter
- Over 63% of consumers prefer buying from brands that are purpose-driven.
- Companies who can attract top applicants can see a 33% increase in revenue.
Criteria for Selecting Your List of Company Core Values
There are several things you should consider when choosing your list of company core values. The first is to understand that values can be “core” or “aspirational.”
A core value is something that you probably already do well and embody every day. An aspirational value is one that you still are working towards achieving, but see as being critically important to the kind of business you want to be.
What we love about this is the idea that values are something that have to be worked towards, reinforced, and earned. You can’t just say you have a core value if you don’t live it.
How to Pick Your Values (Checklist)
So, how do you sort through the innumerable potential values that could represent your company? This checklist can help:
- Does the value fall into the category of either a core or aspirational value? (If no, skip it!)
- Is the core value generic? In other words, does it feel like something every company could be? (If yes, skip it!)
- Does the value make sense for your type of business? (If no, skip it!)
- Would your employees agree that the value is something you embody? (If no, skip it!)
- PRO TIP: We recommend including employees in your value selection process to avoid picking values that don’t resonate with your workforce.
- Does your list of values encapsulate a wide range of principles that guide your company goals/mission? (If not, diversify your list!)
List of 76 Company Core Values
Now that you have a sense of what your list of company core values should look like, let’s talk about examples of values you might choose from. Keep in mind that you can be as creative as you want with your values as long as they represent who you are as a company and what you believe in.
List of Straightforward Values
- Continuous Improvement
- People Matter
List of Quirky Core Values
The truth is, your values don’t have to be single words that embody your guiding principles. They could be quotes or short sentences. Here are some examples:
- Never stop learning.
- We create WOW moments.
- Be weird.
- We break the status quo.
- Dare to be different.
- We are impeccable with our word.
The Core Values of Famous Brands
We can learn a lot from companies who have aced coming up with their values. Google, for example, has the following values:
- Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.
Meta (formerly Facebook) also has core values that go beyond a list of words strung together:
- Move fast.
- Focus on long-term impact.
- Build awesome things.
- Live in the future.
- Be direct and respect your colleagues.
- Meta, metamates, me.
Adobe’s core values are:
- We create the future.
- We own the outcome.
- We raise the bar.
- We are genuine.
Communicating What You Value
Don’t just stop at selecting your values and putting them on your website. You have to regularly share them with your employees and live by them.
Whether you include your values in storytelling campaigns on your app or intranet or create employee recognition programs based on them, it’s so important to make your values an integral part of your internal communications.
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