February is Heart Health Month. Of course, it refers to the human heart. But, do you ever wonder how the heart of your company is performing? The heart of a company is unique, and without a strong, steady beat, it can hamper your best efforts at success.
So, what makes up the heart of a company?
“The heart and soul of a company is the culture created by its people. That culture is fostered by the company’s core values and mission statement,” says Motivation Excellence owner and CEO, David Jobes. For this month’s blog we’re going to focus on one: core values.
Defining Core Values
CultureIQ defines core values as the guiding tenets of a company and adds that there are no universal core values but the building blocks are similar.
- Shape the culture
- Reflect the company’s identity
- Express what principles are most important
Foundr, a global media and education company asks what is unchanging about your company? That’s the essence of your core values. Developing your core values, and making sure they are standing the test of time, is an important task. They guide your company and your employees. And yes, they need to be written down for maximum impact.
“We codified our company’s core values during one of our yearly strategic planning sessions. Before that they were in essence a feeling, not something that could be measured and acted on. The exercise was focused on how do we develop what we believe in so all employees understand how decisions are made within the company,” Jobes recalls.
At Motivation Excellence, all decisions need to be supported by our core values of RITE2: Respect, Integrity, Trust and Exceeding Expectations. “This goes beyond the customer experience to also include how supplier partners and employees are all treated equally,” says Jobes.
For a list of more than 50 other core values examples from other companies check out BuiltIn.com.
Using Core Values
Once you’ve developed your core values, broadcast them for the world to see! Seriously, put them on your website for sure. We display ours on our Who We Are tab and make sure they’re visible on our Careers page too. We want prospective clients and employees to know exactly what’s at the heart of our beliefs, and as we’ve already revealed, core values is part of that.
We went a step further when we decorated our new Motivation Excellence office space.
“We designed our new office space around freedom of creativity and inspiration. We felt our core values needed to be displayed in the similarly. Guidelines to provide everyone with a sense of what we believe in, but displayed in a format that allows freeform expression and creative expansion by the individual,” remarks Jobes.
Our core values artwork was designed by Lucy Biberian, the daughter of Judy Biberian, President and Owner of JRI Interior Design. Judy assisted us in creating the layout and design of our new corporate office.
We also use our core values as part of our internal reward and recognition program. Peers can recognize each other, and managers can recognize employees based on one of our core values. Award points go along with the recognition and can be used in a wide variety of ways.
Employees get an email with a certificate showing which core value they’ve exemplified.
Making it Personal
Core values are inherently very personalized to fit your company’s culture. Keeping the heart analogy alive here, they are also one of the best ways to pump the lifeblood of that culture through your organization.
“Clarity and understanding are some of the most important foundations you can instill within a company. There is no room for ambiguity, where people are confused or uncertain on how decisions are made or how to treat other individuals,” Jobes emphatically relays.
Once everyone understands the core values, they can move forward with making decisions based on them. Decisions and interactions with clients, suppliers and coworkers should exemplify those values and if they don’t, you know something is off.
Interestingly, you probably have your own set of personal core values that guide you on a daily basis in and out of work. Perhaps it’s worth the time to write them down as well. It can help you put weight on what’s most important in your life and limit confusion when it comes to making big and little choices (do I take that job? Should I eat the donut? Is it time to have a baby? Etc). Since we make thousands of decisions every day, knowing what is most important to you is a great way to navigate the waters of indecision. DevelopGoodHabits.com will take you through four steps to discover your personal core values.
Okay, now you know about one aspect of a healthy heart for your company. Go out and exercise that knowledge! While you’re thinking about it, eat a salad and do some jumping jacks – that’s good for your human heart. ❤️