Most of us have been there, that office that proudly hangs its company values on its walls like a ‘live, laugh, love’ sign at your local HomeGoods store. Unfortunately, in many cases, company values can be just that, mediocre decor to fill empty space on your office wall. With that said, company values can be instrumental to company success. Under the right circumstances, they can help tackle the many complex nuances of a company culture that inspire innovation and dictate success for many organizations in 2020. So, to answer the original question implied by the title of this article, yes company values matter. They can play a large role in establishing a culture that empowers its workforce to innovate to its highest potential. Let’s dive in.
Company values help bridge the gap between the C-suite and workforce.
Trust is vital to many areas of company success, companies with a culture of trust are happier, more inclusive and innovative while being less prone to a dreaded lawsuit. A commitment to authenticity and transparency are two ways that senior leadership can include its workforce in the happenings and inner workings of an organization. With that said, a two-way dialogue is needed between the c-suite and the workforce. Without giving employees a platform to express their opinions to senior leadership, companies miss a key ingredient that is ‘accountability’. Considering 78 percent of employees don’t believe their leaders have a clear direction for their organization, it’s crucial that company leaders have a transparent relationship with its workforce to avoid being out of touch.
Company values unite a workforce under a shared sense of belonging.
A sense of belonging is so important to a healthy workplace culture. When people feel they belong in the workplace, they are happier, more engaged, and more productive. Company values that put an emphasis on inclusion and respect of others can go a long way in building and uniting a workforce under a shared sense of belonging. Values that attempt to instill something as complex as ‘workplace happiness’ are highly contingent on workplace behavior which presents an extra challenge to leadership. However, considering the correlation of happiness to employee engagement, and the impact of engagement on financial return, this is a challenge leaders should be willing to welcome.
Values create and uphold an employer and consumer brand.
Yes, in many regards, a company’s employees are their most effective advocates. As we mentioned, company values allow for happier employees, which has effects that carry over far beyond day-to-day office life. Values are the core of creating a strong employer brand that has shown to be increasingly more important to talent retention and talent acquisition in recent years. Additionally, consumers increasingly make purchasing decisions based on a company’s values. However, without a strong internal employer brand, external marketing values do not hold water. In other words, companies need to walk-the-walk.
So, what’s next?
As discussed, company values can be effective at providing a platform from which workplace culture can build and thrive. But without transparency, authenticity, accountability, and inclusion, company values will achieve very little and in fact, could even play a role in alienating a workforce. Developing and advancing leaders at ALL levels (and of ALL backgrounds) is key to sustaining core values that will help define long term company success. Join the discussion by commenting below or joining us live.
About Lead Inclusively
Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture, Team, and Performance.