All companies need a vision plan. This demonstrates where they are headed and how they plan to get there. It’s also a good idea to have a list of your company values and standards. This may sound like a document better suited to larger companies, but it’s just as essential for solo and small businesses too.
These support your company vision and represent who you are as a company. They are the ethics your company stand by – your beliefs and principles – combined together they represent your company identity.
Core values help demonstrate to potential customers what you are about and clarify what you do. An example of core values include: accountability, innovation, ownership, integrity and security. Core values also show your employees how to behave and act whilst in company time.
They’re also great for recruiting and outsourcing work to others, as they help you to attract the right type of recruits, as well as selecting the right team members to employ. How? By being clear on your own company values, it enables you to look for candidates who match those beliefs and values, candidates who would make ideal team members.
Core values are timeless. They stay with you and your company, regardless of trends, economy or financial status.
If core values are your company’s identity and focus, standards are how you implement them. Standards dictate how you work and how it is done. For example, your core value may be “ownership” – this can be implemented by always assigning customers to specific team members.
How you implement them into your business
A combination of your values and standards can be compiled into a single code of practice for your business. Values can also be integrated into your employees (and outsourcers) performance agreements and reviews.
No matter how you implement your values and standards, they are designed to guide staff on how to effectively integrate within your company, as well as how to uphold the company image.
Start by working out your own values. What do you value highly? Is it honesty, integrity or Simplicity? Work out exactly what you value. It’s also a good idea to ask those people who already work for you – find out what their values are, as you may be able to combine them all together to get a good start on your company values.
You can work out how you would implement them into your company. For example, one of your values may be “simplicity”. This translates into your company standards as “how easy and accessible is your website?” “We never use “tech speak” when normal words can be used” and “All our online products follow a simple 3 step layout”.
So, do you know what your core values are? How can you best implement them into your business, in the way of standards and working practices? What one step can you take today, to get started on establishing your core values and standards? Why not share your top values in the comments box below?