Developing a values statement is critical to your company culture. It’s more than just inspiring quotes slapped onto brands with no relation to the business whatsoever. Instead, values statements are expressions crafted to reflect the core principles that motivate your employees. Think of it as establishing the moral outlook for your business and a reference point for expected behaviours. .
Make no mistake, value statements are nothing like vision or mission statements. A vision statement communicates the purpose and motivation of the business, , while a mission statement defines the roadmap for achieving your vision. . So, even though the values are inherently connected to the goals and purpose of the business, they serve a different purpose. .
With the basics covered, let’s explore a step-by-step approach for creating an excellent value statement for your business.
The perfect value statement won’t necessarily strike you on demand. . You may have to work hard on them. Every catchy value statement you recall was born from brainstorming sessions.
It could take several tries to get it right, and that’s completely fine. Review examples of values statements from other businesses you admire and identify their common aspects. Then, think about your business model and how your employees work. Consider what’s important for your company culture. To do this, answer the following three questions:
- What sort of behaviour does the company value?
- What does the business mean to staff, including your managers?
- What sort of impact does the business have at a community level?
Don’t try to determine your values in isolation. You need all the input you can get, so invite representatives from each area of your business to participate in a brainstorming session. . Seek out their perspectives on what they think of the company and the type of work they do.
As a general rule, your board should be involved from the beginning. . They will ultimately be responsible for approving the values statement so they need to give direction about their expectations before you begin.
Your values should be able to stand the test of time. Once you have collated opinions and direction from key stakeholders, refine your values into concise statements. This may require several revisions, but the ultimate goal is to ensure a quality outcome. Ensure that the values statement you settle for is memorable and can be demonstrated through behaviour in the organization. Make sure each value statement is backed up with an example of demonstrated behaviour. For example, if “honesty” is one of your values, then define what that looks like to employees. Your values statement might be, “We value honesty in all our communications. That means we do not embellish or mislead. We manage difficult conversations openly and respectfully.”
As you narrow in on the final choice, take time to review the value statement. You want to get the organization, wording, and presentation right. Every word that goes into it must be meaningful and crucial to the intended outcome.
Before you release your values statement, do some test runs with members of the organization. Show them how each part of the value statement applies to their behaviour in the business. For instance, if your core value revolves around “creativity,” a good example statement would be “We value creativity to fuel innovation and bring bold new possibilities to our work. That means we are expected to suggest new ideas and ways of working whenever we see room for improvement or a chance to gain competitive advantage.” ".”
A value statement is a crucial part of company culture, so you want to commemorate it with an official launch. Rather than sending employees an email, create a launch project to roll out the values statement. You can either host a virtual or physical event but the type of event does not matter as much as how you connect with your team. The goal is to get everyone motivated and remind them what is important to your business and the company culture.