02 Sep 5 Secrets to Crafting The Perfect Company Values Statement
A company values statement is a document that spells out a business’s priorities and core beliefs. Without a values statement, many organizations lose direction as they toil with day-to-day operations. Crafting the perfect company values statement can be tricky; it’s easy to use vague language that doesn’t mean much. Here are five tips to help you craft a company values statement that can be your company’s North Star.
1. Be Specific
Phrases such, as “deliver value to our stakeholders” don’t add much to your values statement. After all, what business doesn’t want to deliver value to its stakeholders? A company values statement that contains only broad statements like this one can lead to confusion about what is expected. Instead, be specific. How will you deliver value to your stakeholders? What do you mean by value? Are your goals purely financial, or are other considerations important to your stakeholders, such as being an environmentally conscious company or building a reputation for honesty and quality?
2. Make Company Values “Committable”
When crafting your organizational values statement, the key word to keep in mind is “committable.” There is no point in writing a statement that contains values you are unable or unwilling to commit to upholding.
According to fashion retailer Zappos, too many companies have values statements that read more like a press release from the marketing department than an accurate reflection of the company’s culture. When Zappos crafted its own values statement, the leadership team focused on coming up with values that everyone in the organization was eager to uphold. The values on Zappos’ statement include “create fun and a little weirdness” and “pursue growth and learning.” By making fun and personal growth core parts of the company’s culture, Zappos empowered its employees to take joy in their work and share their ideas wherever possible.
3. Simple Is Better
Everyone should be able to understand your company values statement, from the CEO to your front-line people. If your people can’t glance at your values and immediately understand how you expect them to approach their work, you may need to simplify your statement. Ditch complex terminology in favor of simple language, and try to trim down your statement so that busy employees can read it quickly and easily. Look out for redundancy in the values you have written. Do any of the items on your list say the same thing? Make the list as short as possible so it is easy to scan and remember.
4. Make Regular Revisions
Crafting a company values statement isn’t necessarily a “set it and forget it” activity. When you make your statement, be aware that you may need to revise it in the future. Look back at your statement regularly and talk to your team about how well it represents your current company culture.
Ask team members to give honest feedback. How do they feel your company is doing in terms of living up to the values outlined in the statement? How could the company’s organization or processes change to better uphold these values? Finally, do they think any of the values needs to be updated? Revise your document based on the feedback you receive from your team to ensure your values statement always reflects your company’s ethos.
5. Crafting Your Company Values Is Just the First Step
In many ways, crafting the perfect company values statement is the easy part of building a successful business. Once you have laid out your values, you need to focus on practicing those values, as well as encouraging your employees to do the same. This takes more effort than simply writing your values down on a piece of paper, framing it and putting it on the wall. Upholding your values requires a constant daily effort and everyone on your team holding each other accountable.
Every time you take an action, you need to stop and think about whether it is in line with your company’s values as outlined in your values statement. This way of thinking might take some time to get used to, but if you do it consistently, it can become a habit, allowing you to uphold your organizational values in everything you do.
You should encourage employees to take the same approach by asking them to think about how their daily actions reflect the company values. If you can get everyone in the organization to adopt this habit, you can dramatically improve the day-to-day operations of your company. In fact, in the highest performing companies, values drive culture, and culture drives high-performance behavior. As such, the values are reflected in every business decision.
Is your business struggling to meet the expectations you have set? Crafting the perfect company values statement is a great starting point, but you may need to do more to ensure success. For example, you need to know how to delegate tasks to suitable people to ensure these tasks are completed to a high standard.
If your company is floundering despite having strong values, get in touch with us today. We’ve helped clients optimize their business performance with our proven methodology. Contact us to find out how we can help you achieve the success you desire.