Never before have customers wielded so much power. That’s why many are using their wallet to drive social and economic change by supporting businesses whose core values they agree with.
As many as 63% of Americans hope that businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change in the future. 50% of consumers worldwide consider themselves ‘belief-driven’ buyers.
So, how does this apply to your business?
Shared values are a fundamental driver of good customer relations. Interestingly, 23% of loyal customers are willing to pay a premium price for products from brands they identify with.
Bringing core values to life in the workplace for employees and, in turn, customers conveys authenticity. On the other side of the coin, if the employees’ and customers’ experience is not in line with the officially stated values, it is quite understandable that they are, at best, confused, and, at worst mistrusting.
Creating and Implementing Core Values in the Workplace
Values only become tangible forces when they are lived by management, employees, and customers alike. We use the phrase ‘Values are for living not laminating’. There are several necessary components to consider when creating company values.
Root Values in your past, present and future
In other words, be authentic! Your values need to represent who you are, where you came from, and what you have acted on so far. Although this step seems obvious, many organizations fail to recognize their actual core beliefs. Only choose values your company truly embodies. Staying true to your heritage will also make you stand out from the competition. Stick to values that matter to you, and avoid typing out the same corporate values found on every ‘about’ page. And this does not mean living in the past. What are the underlying principles of the organisation over time and how are these going to be manifested going forward?
Create a Process
Identifying your company’s values is not best left to the Marketing department or senior executive team. The initiative is best steered by the leadership team and the organisation’s values are their ultimate responsibility. However, all stakeholders can play a valuable part in the process providing input to help the leadership team in finalising their decision.
Once a set of core values with clear definitions has been decided, it’s time to spread the word throughout the organization. At this moment, it is essential to remember that leaders set the tone for everything. Make sure managers lead by example and embody the new company values. We refer to this as the Leadership Shadow and the more senior the role, the longer the shadow they cast. Values is not a job to be delegated to HR!
Integrate Your Values
As you decide on your values, think about the practical consequences of implementation. How will your values be upheld within the company? It takes more than just including values on the website and in the employee handbook.
Hiring is a great area to focus on core values. Your recruiters can scan applicants for cultural fit as much as they do for skill and experience. This is important for your bottom line. Losing an employee due to a bad cultural fit could cost you 50-60% of that person’s salary in hiring costs.
On that point, it is also counter-intuitive for employees who do not represent or even actively reject the company’s core values to be representing the organisation. Why would any company leader pay an employee salary for this to happen?
Your values can be a benchmark by which a promising recruit is measured. Company values can also be promoted within the daily workplace, and if you’re unsure where to begin, managers recognizing and rewarding values-driven behavior is a good start. Ask your teams to reflect on how their behavior works within the company’s values system.
Encourage employees to enforce values within their teams proactively and question decisions that work against them.
Take the SERVICEBRAND Approach to Implementing Core Values
Designing and implementing core values could be the next step to growing your business. Your values are a crucial part of forming customer relations, and often shape your brand identity going forward. That’s why placing values at the heart of the workplace takes a careful and dedicated process.
At SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL, we specialize in helping authentic service organisations thrive. We help progressive leaders design and implement brand-aligned customer experiences where the core values are lived… in practice.
Get in touch with us today to hear how we can help you implement core values in the workplace.