Company values aren’t set in stone when a company is founded, but rather expand and develop as the business grows and changes. These values are a direct reflection of the essence of your business. They impact everything — from the kinds of clients the company works with, to the customer base, to the suppliers, to the product. Not only that, but these values impact the relationships and individual experiences of the workforce.
Values that demonstrate empathy, warmth, and support will be reflected in the culture. Similarly, values that champion hitting targets, making sales, and high commissions will cultivate a competitive culture. Every company tailors their values to the needs of their business, which is why the values of a vegan snack company differ wildly to those of a venture capital business. But as a manager, it’s important to look at your company values objectively and understand how these might affect the experience of your employees day to day.
Positivity, diversity, and inclusion
One question HR and management can ask themselves is whether their company values promote diversity and inclusion. Do your core values reflect the diversity of your workforce, and do they create an environment where everyone feels supported?
Let’s look at some examples. Diversity is a core value at Nike, with the company stating: “Nike understands that critical changes need to happen within companies to promote diversity and inclusion. In 2019, Nike continued to maintain the ‘global pay equity ratio’ for men to women and minorities.” When a company as global and influential as Nike includes diversity as a core value, it makes every employee feel valued and paves the way for smaller companies to reflect diversity in their own core values.
A core value of Alibaba Group states: “Change is the only constant. Whether you change or not, the world is changing, our customers are changing and the competitive landscape is changing. We must face change with respect and humility. Otherwise we will fail to see it, fail to respect it, fail to understand it and fail to catch up with it.”
This value demonstrates a willingness to be agile and to accept progression. As a core value, this creates space for employees to learn, grow, make mistakes, and progress, all of which contribute to employee well-being.
Click here to find out why diversity matters.
Why are company values linked to employee well-being?
Company values lay the foundation of company culture. When employees live the values of their company, their performance and relationships will reflect that, which cultivates a positive work environment. When employees can relate to a company’s core values, they’ll have:
- A clearer sense of direction within the company and better understanding of their role
- An understanding of what the company aims to achieve and how they can work towards it
- An understanding of the values and attitudes they need to adopt to succeed in the company
- The opportunity to use these values to guide their decisions in difficult situations
Effective core values improve employee engagement, making the workforce more committed, motivated and focused. Not only this, but effective core values attract top-tier candidates and boost talent retention. When an employee believes in their company values, they’ll see their role as a reflection of themselves and strive to do their best, which means they’ll succeed, get promoted, and stay with the company for longer.
Find out why company culture matters in this blog post.
How to make effective company core values
So how do you make core values that reflect the purpose and culture of your company?
- Keep it relevant and inspiring. Employees need to be able to link the company values with the success of the business and see how that relates to their role.
- Ask your employees what matters to them. This is a great way of understanding the way their minds work and what they find motivating and inspiring.
- Look at your customers and product. What does your product aim to achieve? And how does your customer base reflect that? Package that up, and include it in your values.
- Look to the future. What does your company hope to achieve in the next five, ten, twenty years? If you include this in your company core values, you’ll manifest the achievement.
For example, at Babbel a core value is:
A learning company — inside and out
This reflects the culture of the company and embodies what we hope to achieve inside and out. Plus it promotes growth and opportunity for our workforce, which boosts employee well-being.
To find out how to develop a positive learning culture within your business, read this article.
Key contributing factors to employee well-being
If you’re interested in using your core values to boost employee well-being, then take into account the factors that contribute most to workforce happiness.
- Autonomy: the ability to control and manage one’s own workload
- Inclusive culture: a safe and supportive work environment for every employee, especially those from marginalized communities and those who need additional support for mental and physical health
- Collaborative culture: values that promote teamwork and collaboration will foster a positive and social work environment
- Stress management frameworks: structures must be in place to ensure employees aren’t overworked and are supported through difficult times
Flexibility and trust: after COVID, employees will expect the same level of trust, which means the option to partially work from home should remain
If you’d like to introduce Babbel for Business to your company, then get in touch with a member of our team. We’d love to hear from you.