Best practices for defining organization values

Organization define the core pillars of their identity and principle which affect the way their business is conducted through company values. Each company have individualised set of core values which support the vision and decision-making processes within the organization. These core values have a significant role and are essential and guiding force as the company grows.  

This is the reason why a lot money has been spent on researching the best practices for defining company values and there are two main observations that are emphasised as important: 

  1. The guidelines can only be helpful to some point as each company have their own story when it comes to defining company values. Thereby, there is no right way to do it.  
  1. It does not entail just defining company values but also ensuring these values are in practice throughout the organization.  

It is said that great company culture begins by ensuring that the company values are great. In order to ensure that the company values are great the process of defining company values should be appropriate. One of the most important point to remember is that the process of defining company values should be ideally be independent for each company and this is elaborated further in the upcoming paragraphs.  

Process of defining organization values 

It should be carried out as early as possible. This should be done as it would act as a framework when the company is going through the process of recruitment. It is also important during the decision-making processes. While defining company values, they should be polarized in nature so that it will attract the right kind of employee for the role and weed out those who will not fit in. It is often believed that the process of defining company values should take place while the company is in its initial stages of development.  

While defining company values, it has been proposed that they use bottom-up and top-down approaches.  

For the bottom-up approach, a team was to identify the best exemplars co-workers of the organization and describe the key attributes of that employee. The attributes were then put on a white board and then grouped it into similar categories which gave about ten groups. Then the list is shortened by keeping in mind the core values of the company. Further, this debate was used to start naming and ranking the groups. Now the top-down approach is to be implemented and this is where they are important. While defining company values, they should also be provided by the senior management. However, there might be some issues while a disagreement arises on a value chosen collectively.  

 These two approached create the first draft of the company values. These company values are reviewed and challenged each quarter and read aloud during the meeting each week, create interview questions based on the company values and further incorporate them into activities to ensure they are completely understood and practice the company values.  

It has been found that this generation is too big in number to ignore. The millennials at 83.1 million surpasses baby boomers in 2014 census itself and are said to represent one quarter of the U.S. population. Millennials do give significant importance to company values and in the role of customer and employee, millennials favour companies whose values align with the millennial’s personal values. This makes company values an important part of driving sales and attracting top talent.  

A study found that an average of $7,600 pay cut would’ve been accepted by millennials for a healthier work-life balance, better company culture, career development and a meaningful job which are factors that improve overall quality of life. Defining company values that are strong and solid ensures direction and builds a reputation. It sets the tone for company’s interaction with customers while marketing its products and making important decisions. If company values are taken seriously, it will help in developing a strong brand identity and a cohesive business plan.  

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