What are company values?
Company values, also known as core values, are the fundamental beliefs held by an organization and act as a north star that aligns team members and helps unite employees to work toward a common goal. Company values are a business's cornerstone and should influence how employees represent the company and interact with consumers. It is important to note that having strong and recognized company values does not guarantee company success alone but is an essential aspect that connects success factors.
Sometimes core values are confused with a company’s mission. To put it simply, a mission statement is what a company does; for instance, J2T’s mission statement is “To enrich lives, one relationship at a time.” whereas core values concern what a company is, the defining features of a company, and how it operates. For example, J2T’s core values are creating and nurturing rich relationships, freedom, and fortune for all parties involved and ultimately keeping it real with authenticity woven into everything we do.
Why are company values important?
Successful organizations start with solid values that the team understands and even lives. Companies with strong values have better financial performance, employee satisfaction, and customer satisfaction and experience faster growth. Values are helpful in all areas of business, specifically:
- Decision-making: Values help employees make the best decisions for an organization. By emphasizing how deep company values run, employees are more likely to use them as a guide when making important decisions. This not only helps the decision-making process along but by using these foundational elements of the company, decisions will be made that best align with the company’s core.
- Employee alignment: Company values serve as a common ground that communicates purpose, thus enhancing employee alignment. These values are considered a company’s “why” or its reason for being; therefore, employee alignment is integral. Aligned teams have greater communication, consistency, and direction than unaligned teams.
- Motivation: Teams with explicit values tend to be more motivated and engaged with the company’s overall goals. When employees have the foundation of clear company values, they know what the organization stands for and which behaviors are encouraged. This makes it easier to understand what is required from employees and provides the security needed to work toward common goals.
- Hiring decisions: Clearly defining goals early on is crucial to making good hires and should be a part of the process from beginning to end. As the workforce becomes increasingly remote, employees should feel that their company’s core values are the glue that connects them to other remote workers nationally and even globally. Hiring managers should be aware and deeply rooted in these values to ensure new employees are a good fit for the organization.
How to integrate company values?
Company values should reach far beyond your website and employee handbook. They should be a part of your company culture, contribute to your business strategy, should attract and retain talent, be integrated into feedback, and more.
However, there is an unfortunate disconnect. Even companies that understand the importance of integrating company culture can fall short. Data from Gallup found that only 27% of employees strongly believe in their company’s values, and less than half strongly agree that they know what their organization stands for. A study from the UK found that more than half of employees cannot recite their organization’s vision, and nearly half cannot recite their company’s values.
Here lies the issue. Even companies who have worked to make their values visible have somehow failed to express their importance to employees. Simply making values visible is not enough. Company values must be embodied by leadership and integrated into the day-to-day activities of their employees.
To achieve this, companies should:
- Integrate values into feedback: Employees at any level benefit from being reminded that their work has a purpose and meaning. This is more than just completing their to-do list. The feedback given to employees should embody a company’s mission and values. This is especially important concerning performance management. Ongoing and continuous feedback, including recognition for high points in performance and achievement, should all stem from company values.
- Integrate values into employee recognition programs: An employee recognition program should also be linked to company values. It is also important to recognize employees that have strongly displayed company values. Ones that are, become more than two times as likely to be focused on reinforcing and driving business goals, 33% more likely to be focused on empowering employees, and 29% more likely to be focused on creating a positive employer brand.
- Implement value-based culture into leadership: Management greatly influences workplace culture; therefore, leaders should act as role models that embody company values. This is displayed in behaviors as well as actions.
- Tie values into recruiting: To further implement company values into your company, make them apparent from the beginning. State values in the interviewing process and ask candidates questions about how they have demonstrated specific values in their life to help you make the best hires for your company. 91% of managers in the United States say that a candidate’s alignment with the company culture is equally or more important than skills and experience.
J2T Company Values
At J2T, our core purpose is to enrich lives, one relationship at a time. We understand the intricacies of hiring and the importance of finding cohesiveness from both an organizational and individual perspective. We employ a comprehensive, sophisticated approach for a powerful experience with measurable results.
This is supported by our commitment to J2T’s shared core values of creating and nurturing rich relationships, working in an entrepreneurial environment that allows for freedom and fortune for all parties involved, and ultimately keeping it real with honesty and authenticity woven into everything we do. We do not want to be headhunters; we want to be your partners in success in discovering top talent to meet your employment needs.
Written by Lauren Kemp
Lauren Kemp, Communications and Marketing Specialist at J2T, earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a minor in Latin American studies and a Master of Science in Innovation and Management from Montana State University. Lauren hails from Montana and enjoys reading about the history of her home state. Her bucket-list items include touring the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, and taking an immersion trip to Chile to experience Latin American culture first-hand.