There’s no going around it: change is a necessary part of doing business. Your company’s values should evolve as well. According to a 2005 survey of large organisations, 90% had a core corporate values statement. Thirteen years later, a survey of over 100 HR experts revealed that the majority of employees couldn’t recite their company’s basic principles.
Companies of all sizes are investing in social causes; analysing their social effect; and demonstrating their social commitment on topics ranging from health care access to climate change. Fortune 500 companies alone invest over $15 billion in corporate social responsibility efforts each year.
The new remote and digital lifestyle has put companies in a position to reevaluate how they approach both clients and employees. As you consider the “new normal,” it’s time for enterprises to rethink what they stand for. It’s almost clear that your former goal, vision, and values no longer properly reflect today’s circumstances.
So how can you – as a manager, leader or owner of a business – adapt to the changes that the world has thrown on us?
Creating your core corporate values
A great company culture has to have a mission, vision, and values. The mission is the organisation’s unmistakable reasons for being. Its vision is its purpose for itself. Its values are the principles by which an organisation commits to in all its operations. However, they are never designed to be static. Just as a firm’s surroundings change, so must the company itself.
Michelangelo, the great artist, once said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it. It is the sculptor’s responsibility to unearth it.” The mission, vision, and values are the same. They are already present in your work and among your colleagues.
The goal of an organisation and its leaders is to chisel, shape, and refine what is already there. Not to impose these things like a blank canvas.
Here are a few tips on how you could start the reevaluation of your company values and culture:
- Engage the organisation comprehensively: Let everyone in the organisation know you are embarking on a refresh of the mission, vision, and values. Take special account into the changes of the last few years. Polls and surveys to better understand what each employee’s opinion is regarding matters will be useful. This can range from changing office space, relocating, to new product names and features, etc.
- Listen extensively and authentically: Senior leaders from the CEO down should personally lead diverse focus groups throughout the organisation. Have the time and opportunity to discuss any and all matters that are on an employee’s mind – whether it be work-related or personal.
- Engage your team with an employee loyalty program: Don’t make assumptions about what is most important to your specific personnel. Allow them to choose from a number of rewards to see which are the most important (and motivating!) to them.
- Encourage diversity among your employees: Make sure to look into your personnel and see where diversity is lacking and fill that gap.
Building long-term relationships beyond company profits
Customer relationships are vital because they improve sales, decrease customer turnover, provide valuable marketing, boost employee morale, and turn your customers into your R&D department.
Customer connections are equivalent to romantic partnerships in several ways. Assume you wooed a potential love interest with flowers, fine dining, and adventurous dates. When you’re in a committed relationship, however, you stop attempting to please them. You begin calling it in and acting careless. The chances of the relationship surviving are close to none. The same is true for your consumers; the more you engage with them and show them how much you appreciate them, the more probable it is that you will keep the love alive.
Kind leadership incorporates all of the elements of sincerity, transparency, warmth, developing trust, and empowering others. When we talk about kindness, we really mean incorporating a little bit of each of aspect of being a good leader into your day-to-day attitude and intent.
Corporate values, goals and mission are the heart of a company. The bottom line is that corporate values are at the heart of any business. Your values and culture will establish whether your organisation has a lively heartbeat or whether things have stagnated.