By Serena Dorf
Many business owners understand the importance of business values as the core of their business. But very few understand the importance of describing their business values to create a befitting image on the mind of their clients and prospects.
Your business values represent your business philosophy, principles and what it stands for or promotes. If you cannot communicate this philosophy and the principles you want your business to stand for to your customers, employees, stakeholders, suppliers and other influencers in your business environment, then their behaviors and attitude might end up contradicting your business values.
Below are seven tips to help you describe your business values:
- Decide who to involve
The first question you should ask yourself when describing your business values is who you want to involve in defining those values.
Do you choose to involve senior employees, stakeholders, all your employees or even your customers?
This is important because your business value must capture what you want your business to stand for and accomplish so that you can project that philosophy internally (to and from your employees, team members, management, etc.) and externally (to your customers, stakeholders, partners, vendors and the public).
Therefore, you can adopt a bottom-up and top-down approach identifying the perspectives of employees at the top and lower positions in the company which can then be used to draft your core values.
Or you can take steps like Heather Brunner, who codified WP Engine‘s organizational values as the CEO of WP Engine in 2013, then you can codify the values as the business leader.
You can also involve all the employees in the company like CultureIQ did, however, in a large company you can select few employees in the company or conduct a survey or poll.
But just like your business value itself, who you choose to involve in describing it depends on the business itself, the amount of employees and what you want your business identity to be.
- Research your business values thoroughly
You don’t necessarily have to do extensive and comprehensive research the way EssayOnTime professional researchers and writers would do when writing a custom essay. However, you need to ask and answer the right questions such as:
- What is important to everyone involved?
- What beliefs bring us together and hold us together? And how long will that belief last?
- What should we stick to as our guide no matter the situation we find ourselves in?
- (If you’re asking customers) What do you like about us? What would you like us to change?
- What makes you proud to be a part of the company?
- Create a draft from your research
Now you have a lot of information, it is important that you go through this information and create a list of values gleaned from your research.
Then group ideas with similar themes together and eliminate things from the list that are unimportant, not connected to your business mission and vision or cannot be visibly integrated into the way you conduct business.
It is essential that your list becomes a short and concise one so it can be easy to remember and employees and team members can repeat the values consistently.
- Use Feedbacks
Your business values must be part of your business’ daily culture and client’s experiences so it is very important that you get it right.
Before publishing it, you can send the business values draft to employees, and other influential members of your business environment in order to get their feedback about the authenticity of the business values if compared with the practical core principles the company is built on.
The selected values can also be compared with customers’ feedback and experience in the company so as to ensure that they are correct and fit your business philosophy and the identity you want your business to project.
- Make your business values actionable
Your business value is not just platitudes and something you want your employees to be able recite consistently, it should guide your business decisions and your employee’s actions and behavior.
After creating and listing business values, what makes your company credible to those business values you describe is when you live up to them.
Therefore, it is essential that you, your team members, employees, and newly hired employees are accountable to these values in your actions and behavior.
- Make your business values unique
Your business values should contain what differentiates your business from every other business in your industry or field. It should clearly indicate why potential customers should come to you instead of your competitors, why employees should be proud to work at your company and why talents everywhere should want to work in your company.
- Integrate the business values into your business daily culture and practices
Your business values should be communicated to everyone involved with your business.
- Your customers should be able to use your values to determine the kind of service they can expect to get when they choose to deal with your business and actually experience it.
- Your employees’ action and corporate culture should be guided by your business values
Your business values should determine how things are done in the company. For example, they should be part of your sales, marketing and customer relationship management goals. Business values can also be used to hold your employees to a standard of behavior.
The importance of articulating and describing your business values to be unique, memorable, actionable, part of your work culture, aligned with your business mission, vision or goals and integrated into your customer’s experiences and business culture cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, you should try to make sure that your business values are clear and concise to give clients and potential clients a full understanding of the core principles of your company or o