You know that feeling when you just can’t stand going to work one more day? It’s probably because your company has lost sight of its core purpose and values. However, it doesn’t have to be so bleak. There are many organizations that keep their core values and purposes front and center with renewed vigor. The result: A great employee experience, a culture of trust, and an environment that is conducive to innovation, collaboration, and conflict resolution. It is possible for your company to succeed again by re-defining your core purpose and values as an organization. The process is not easy but it will pay dividends for years to come. These tips will help you get started on the road to a new future for your company.
A business without a purpose is a ship without a rudder.
If you’ve ever been on a boat that has no captain, you’ve probably also seen that it doesn’t go where you want it to. A business without a purpose is the same way. When you have shared values and a common purpose, you can better decide what to do, how to do it, and how to achieve your goals. Purpose gives you a reason to exist, a reason to hire the right people, and a reason to celebrate wins together. It also helps you decide what not to do, what not to hire for, and what not to celebrate.
Why is defining your company’s purpose and values important?
Your company’s purpose and values are the foundation for every decision that is made. With these in place, you can make better decisions about what to do, what not to do, and how you will approach customer service, hiring, product launches, employee reviews, and so much more. The process of defining these core elements gives you the opportunity to assess where your company is at the moment and where it is headed. It also gives you the chance to open up the conversation with your employees about how they can make a difference in the world.
Come up with ideas together
For some organizations, it is easy to see why they exist. For others, it is not. That’s why it’s important to conduct a few exercises together as a team to brainstorm ideas. You can do this in as many ways as there are teams. You can do it over a video call. You can do it over an in-person meeting. You can do it over a group chat. Whatever way you choose, just make sure to get everyone’s ideas down on paper or in the digital void. Once you have all the ideas, you can sort and prioritize them. Move them around until you have them in the best possible order.
Find out what’s important to employees
What is important to your company might not be important to your employees. What’s important to your employees might be far from what matters to you. When you define your core values, do so in a way that employees can relate to. For example, if you value agility, don’t just say so. Rather, ask them what agility means to them and what they would want to see in their company. This will help them understand how their jobs relate to the whole company.
Revisit the company’s core competencies
After you’ve come up with ideas for your company’s purpose and values, you may have noticed that core competencies have come up more than once. That’s because a lot of the time, your core values will be linked to your core competencies. Core competencies are skills and assets that are important to your business and that make you different from other organizations. They are usually required for all employees, regardless of position. For example, if you work in IT, having a deep understanding of security is part of your core competency. However, if you work in sales, having a great personality is your core competency.
Ask employees what they value most in the workplace
Now that you know what your core values are and what your employees think they should be, you can ask them what they value most in their workplace. Be as specific as you can. You want to know what they value most in their manager, coworkers, workspace, benefits, and so much more. When you know what they value, you can make sure that you provide it to them. There’s nothing worse than working for a company that cares more about the money than you do.
Coincide your company’s values with its culture and behavior
Once you’ve come up with a list of core values, it’s important to make sure that those values coincide with your company’s culture and behavior. If your company has a fun and quirky culture, don’t choose values like excellence and discipline. Instead, go for something that is more in line with your culture, like teamwork and creativity. It might take several meetings, focus groups, and surveys to get this right. Once you do, it will be well worth the effort. You’ll be able to hire employees that fit the culture and find it easier to weed out the ones that don’t fit the mold.
A company is only as good as its employees. If the people who work for you are happy, the company succeeds. If they are miserable, you won’t go very far. Now that you know how to redefine your core purpose and values, you have the opportunity to improve the lives of your employees. To do this, start by making sure that your core values are something that your employees can relate to. Once you’ve done that, make sure that they coincide with your company’s culture and behavior. When you’ve done all of that, you’ll be able to redefine your company with renewed vigor.