Every company needs core values. The company with only one person as well as the company with 10,000+ people needs core values. Core values drive you back to what your organization stands for, what they value and how they do work. It determines who your clients are, how you work with them and the types of employees that are successful.

Company values must be lived out from the most senior of leadership and they must be integrated into everything you do. If you don’t, your company culture becomes muddled and lost in the day-to-day challenges. It can open the company up to a variety of unpleasant challenges from politics to disorganization and poor leadership.

So how do you come up with your core values? Well, we’ve tried to simplify the process so you can begin taking steps on your own to formulate your company’s core values. There is no right or wrong way to do this but having the right people at the table is the most important thing you can do. Here at TalentID, we went through a process that included brainstorming, whiteboarding, researching and just digging deep to develop what we are proud to call our core values. If you are still struggling to define yours, walk through these simple exercises to develop your list of 4-6 core values by which your company will live:

Brainstorm

Grab your core leadership team, an conference room, a whiteboard and your open minds! Get your brainstorming juices flowing by asking these questions:

  • Who are we today?
  • Who do we want to be?
  • How do we want to be viewed?
  • What have we liked about companies for which we worked in the past?
  • What have we liked about company partners/clients in the past?
  • With whom do we want to work (clients) and why?

There are no right or wrong questions to ask but these questions will get you started and spark further conversations. These characteristics/values become the list that leads us to step two.

Explore

Review your core values as a team and pick the top 7-10 core values. There is no need to prioritize because one is no more important than the other at this point. Take a look at each of the core values listed and consider the following questions:

  • Where do we see ourselves in the next 5 or 10 years? Will these still be relevant then?
  • How do these values match up to our current business model and the goals we have as a business?
  • How do these values match up to our current client list?
  • How do these values match up to our employees?

In this step, you want to think about what these core values mean and the potential they have to change or alter the way you do business.

Develop

Based on your answers above, pick the top 4-6 core values that are in alignment with what you want your company to represent. For each core value, define the types of actions that you imagine yourselves, employees or clients doing to exemplify these core values. List 4-5 actions for each core value.

Publish

Now that your core values are in place, you need them to be displayed front and center for employees and clients to see. This is a great daily reminder to employees and clients as to the values that drive your business.

By following these four steps, you will get to your list of core values. But, this is only half of the battle. Once you have your core values published for all to see, you need to ensure processes, employees, and clients are in alignment with the new core values. Stay tuned for a future post about how to properly implement your new core values.

If you need additional assistance in defining your core values or are unsure how to implement your core values, let us know. We have worked with companies hiring their first employee to Fortune 500 organizations. We have seen it all and we can help!