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5 Ways to Build Core Values Into Your Company’s Culture

by Randy Ardis, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, on June 04, 2019

It’s well known that companies with strong cultures attract and retain the best talent. Great employees want to work for companies with a sense of mission, and whose values align with their own, and strong company values can also increase engagement. And yet, according to a Gallup survey, only 27% of employees say they believe in their company’s values, and even fewer say they can apply those values to their work on a daily basis.“A company’s core values are the very heart of why we do what we do every single day.  They state who we are, what we are passionate about, and how we can best serve our customers.  Our values should attract like-minded individuals who share the passion to support our purpose.” says Randy Ardis, a LandrumHR corporate culture expert.
It’s likely time to take a closer look at your company’s core values and how they’re working to strengthen your culture. Here are five steps to get started:
1. Reassess your values statement. Even companies that already have a values statement need to review it from time to time. That’s because your guiding principles can change with events like acquisitions, a shift in strategic direction, or a change in leadership. What goes into a values statement? Unlike mission and vision statements, which focus on an organization’s purpose and goals, a statement of core values expresses the principles that guide company operations, and the conduct employees should uphold.
2. Hire for culture. One of the best ways to build a strong culture is to hire people who understand and share your values from day one. Talk about your company’s values early and often in the recruiting process, and treat “cultural fit” as a core competency in hiring decisions. “Reflecting core values in your recruiting, interviewing, and hiring processes are paramount. By gaining an understanding of potential candidates’ alignment with your values, you will hire more effectively and lower turnover, which increases organizational efficiency and decreases cost.  Finding someone who culturally fits your team is just as important as finding someone who can perform all of the essential job tasks,” Randy says.  
3. Go deeper with onboarding. If the only mention of values in your onboarding process is a brief statement on a PowerPoint slide, you’re missing an opportunity. Make sure managers are sharing why these values are important to your company, and bring in outstanding employees to talk to new hires about situations where reflecting on the company’s values helped them make an important decision or handle a difficult situation.
Ardis added, “By finding those team members who embody your company values, you will experience higher levels of engagement and you will notice much stronger relationships developing between your team and those you serve.”
4. Talk about it. Don’t leave values behind when onboarding wraps up. Keep the conversation going by talking about them on a daily basis. New Jersey-based Fortune Title Agency, a 2018 winner of the Society for Human Resources Management’s When Work Works award, hosts daylong meetings to discuss the company’s core values and share examples of how they are demonstrated at work. You can reinforce the importance of core values by making them a theme of company retreats and workshops, and coaching managers to make values a part of their regular conversations with employees.
5. Revisit values in evaluations. Employee evaluations are a great time to remind your team of the company’s values and reinforce the ways in which you’d like to see those guiding principles reflected in their work. Along with their overall performance, review the organization’s values statement and assess how the employee is exemplifying those values, and how they can do better.
“If your organization has hit a plateau or is losing market share, you should revisit your core values to determine how well you are incorporating them into your organization every day.  A well-executed course correction could garner exceptional results for your bottom line.” Says Ardis.
Ideally, your company’s values should help build a culture that supports growth for the future, alignment with your customers, and a sense of mission and purpose for your employees.
Need help building a culture with strong values? LandrumHR can help. Contact us today to start the conversation.
Randy Ardis, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Randy is a seasoned HR Professional with 23 years of exempt-level experience in the fields of manufacturing, telecommunications, entertainment, and service industries. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in HR Management from Winthrop University. A certified Senior Human Resources Professional (SPHR) and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), Randy is highly experienced in Employee Relations, Staffing & Recruiting, and Training. Randy has been a Florida resident for eight years, and has spent most of his career in the Southeastern United States. He is active in the Greater Pensacola Society for Human Resources Management chapter, the Pensacola Chamber’s HR Managers Roundtable – has served as Co-Chair, Northwest Florida Manufacturer’s Council member, Central Gulf Coast Industrial Alliance’s Workforce Development Team, and a member of the Northwest Florida Skilled Technician Talent Supply Task Force.

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