In the large scheme of starting and scaling a business, this topic can feel like small potatoes, but is it?
Core Values for any business is actually very important because it creates a written list of standards that the organization as a whole operates by.
Core Values are something we SHOULD hire and fire around.
We should make decisions based on them.
They should be a core part of how our organization operates.
They create consistency in both culture and the customer experience.
When you first start out and the team is SMALLER, or YOU are the team, creating consistency in the ethics of how the company is ran is based a lot on YOU and your personal ethics. As you scale, it will be important to ensure this expectation of ethical code is a well-known part of how your brand does business. It will be important that the core values are spoken loud and proud and known by ALL…..both team members AND customers.
Its important to send a message to the customer that is advertising, “hey when you do business with us, this is what we find important!”
In my humble opinion, this list should be carefully thought out. I also believe they should be ACTION orientated to communicate a clear message on exactly what people at your company DO!
When I first developed my company’s core values, I used ones that were very generic and out of the box.
(Example: Honesty, Integrity) Lets be honest…these types of basic core values could be perceived differently depending who you ask, right?
Operating with integrity could have different meanings to different folks, so, I changed this to an action phrase….
DO WHAT YOU SAY. If you say you are going to do something….DO IT!
Some other examples of my ACTION ORIENTATED CORE VALUES ARE
BE THE EXAMPLE : ASK MORE QUESTIONS : ALWAYS BE LEARNING : SOLVE PROBLEMS: GROW EVERYDAY
DON’T EVER QUIT: DO THE WORK: BE INCREDIABLY CONSISTENT: PEOPLE NOT A NUMBER:
And are you ready for this one? OWN YOUR SHIT.
These fit my expectations for my team. They outline the type of experience we want for our customer. We paint the picture to all new salespeople that regardless of ticket size, all of our customers get great service. It says that HERE AT THIS ORGANIZATION, we learn, we grow, and we kick ass! My culture sets the tone for high achievers. What should your values say about you?
When I first developed mine out, we started with a list of about 25. We wrote down EVERYTHING that mattered to us in our team moving forward. By the process of eliminations and combining phrases, we landed on 10 core values that would be THE RKG CORE VALUES we would grow on for years to come.
Communicate these & take them seriously!
Our core values are painted as a mural on the wall in the hallway in our office so that everyone sees them every day. They are handwritten on our board. They are laid out in our handbook. When I onboard someone, I go over them each individually and share a little story about what they mean to our company and why they were chosen.
If we are HIRING AND FIRING around the core values, it’s important we give EVERYONE a chance to fully understand what they are.
ANYTHING that does not line up with the core values, isn’t a good fit for the company. They are the playbook, the consistency, the tone.
If you do not currently have core values established OR you have core values that are watered down and generic, I challenge you to LEVEL UP!
Make a list of things that MATTER to you and to your brand moving forward.
Ask yourself, what exactly do I want them TO DO.
Find 5-10 of those actions, AND MARRY THEM!