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How To Establish Your Company’s Core Values

Brian Town is the CEO of Michigan Creative, a creative agency that helps businesses in the Midwest and beyond grow their business

“Core values” refer to your company’s principles. They show what your company stands for, who your team is and the people you want to attract. Simply put, core values are the beliefs that drive the actions of your organization. When implemented correctly, a business’s core values can function as a guide for many different aspects of the company, including:

1. Company Culture

Core values help build the foundation of a business. When every member of the organization aligns with the company’s core values, making decisions that fit into the company identity becomes easier for everyone involved. It creates a positive and inspiring environment and opens up the lines of communication across the organization, thus making for a more collaborative community.

Core values also help people outside of your organization get a clear understanding of who you are as a company. Many people would rather be a part of a company with defined core values. After all, workers are increasingly looking for an employer that offers a positive and respectful company culture.

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2. Messaging

Core values are one of the most important things anyone can do for their brand when crafting their messaging. They give your messaging value and serve as guidelines for conducting your brand voice. Core values set each business apart from the rest and make them distinctly unique. It’s a business personality. Multiple companies might offer the same service, but their core values and differentiating factors allow each brand to attract niche audiences.

When your core values and messaging are clear, your audience knows what to expect when working with your business. When used correctly, your core values integrated into your messaging can also help grab your customers’ attention and leave your audience with a message that resonates with them. Not only is your brand leaving a memorable impression but also building trust and awareness with your audience demographic.

3. Business Strategy

A business’s core values are a crucial part of the foundation used in strategic planning. When an entire team has a similar passion and purpose when coming to work, then the vision for growth is clear, and everyone can work toward the same goal. One of the most challenging parts of developing a business strategy is aligning your team and doing the necessary things to achieve the set goals. When your team aligns with the company values, your company can smoothly implement a strategic business plan. It also opens up increased lines of communication and collaboration, like mentioned above, which tends to make processes and procedures more streamlined and efficient.

Developing Your Values

There is nothing worse than leaders coming up with core values they think their staff will and can embody—only to learn that isn’t the case. After you’ve figured out what you want your business to be, it is imperative to get your staff involved in the process of creating your company’s core values, not just your leadership team. Work and communicate with your team to find out what they think, and use their feedback as you move forward to create a set of core values from which you can all benefit. Core values can be used as a guide for you to be able to put the right people in the right position.

Give your employees time to work on them, train them and share them. For those employees who were around when those core values were established, you better be their leading inspiration and the world’s best example. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect in following them, but leading by example is important, so admit it if you mess up and fix it next time.

Core values help shape company culture while supporting the company’s vision. When the entire team is clear on their goals, they can better connect and involve themselves more with work and one another. When you have a team that is aligned and connected, stability and collaboration start to build, which leads to future business growth.

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