I’ll admit it: company core values enter the cliche zone more often than not. We work together. We strive for excellence in everything we do. We put our customers first. But truth be told, there’s a reason why they’re overused. Plus, the authenticity of a company’s core values (even if authenticity is one of them) is unimportant. What matters is that they are clearly defined and actually carried out.
And cliche or not, data shows that core values impact a company’s bottom line:
With all that being said, my aim with this post is to define core values as a necessity for any business and then provide you with:
- Six steps for coming up with your company’s core values.
- Seven examples of real company core values that each take a different approach.
- Over 200 words you can use to inspire, establish, and describe the values of your company.
You’ll walk outta here with all the info and inspo you need to establish a set of core values that attracts customers, engages employees, and increases revenue.
What are company core values?
Company values are concepts or principles that a business considers to be important for the well-being of the business itself, its employees, its customers, and the communities of which it is a part.
Basically, they’re the win-win, do-good principles that give a company a greater purpose.
Or as Waste Management puts it,
While a business is constantly evolving, core values remain absolute and unchanged and can guide a company in making sound decisions–regardless of department, stage of development, or individual personalities. They are essential for helping a business to form its identity, distinguish its brand, and improve its reputation.
Company core values vs. mission, vision, and goals
Let’s quickly define mission, vision, and goals:
Mission statement: your function and purpose—what you do, who you serve, and why.
Vision statement: what you hope to achieve, inspire, or solve for the greater good, the bigger picture of which your mission is a part.
Goals: These are the tangible outcomes that contribute to overall revenue growth and moving the company forward.
Core values can both inspire and support a company’s mission, vision, and goals. Most importantly, they provide guidelines on the most ethical, unified approach to achieving those goals.
I like the visual CAT uses for their core values page:
The hierarchy denotes that core values connect behaviors and goals to mission and vision. They provide the most ethical, unified approach to achieving your goals in a way that lends to your greater cause.
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