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Five Key Times to Dust Off Your Corporate Values

December 14, 2015 by Jackie Lauer

Our values are what guide us. When we made decisions that go against our values, we can be left with feelings of regret.

For a company, core values can help an organization stay focused on what they stand for, rather than concentrating on immediate gain. They help guide employees to make decisions that are right for the company.

How do you know the right time to define your core values? When is a good time to review them?

Setting Your Values from the Start

When a new venture starts up, nailing down your core values may not be a top priority, but the timing is perfect. Partners are often drawn to each other because they share the same values and beliefs. Articulating the values that brought you together will help remain align to them as you go forward. Others will be attracted to the energy of a team working in sync.

Finding Investors Who Are Aligned With Your Values

When a company brings on new investors, compromise is usually part of the bargain. Beware of compromising to the point where your values are completely sacrificed.

Having a stated set of clear values will help you determine if an investor is right for your business. It may be tempting to put them aside in order to accept a desperately needed investment, but the cost is too high in the long run.

Bring on Others Who Share Your Values

Values are always an important part of hiring your team members, especially as a company goes through a rapid growth spurt. You’ll have an easier time hiring people who share an understanding of what’s important for the company. This is the best way to maintain the company culture that you hold dear.

Revisit Values When Decision Making Goes Awry

If it seems the corporate values are being forgotten each time an important decision needs to be made, something is off. Perhaps key individuals are not buying into the values. It may be that they need to be clearer or better communicated so your team has what they need to make a solid decision.

Whatever the reason, it’s probably time to revisit your values and decide if they still work for the company. It’s perfectly reasonable for values to shift over time.

If Your Culture is Changing Take a Look at Your Values

When values are not aligned, people react. You may start hear rumblings of dissatisfaction. You start to see people come in late and leave early. Rumour and speculation creep into meetings. Productivity starts to suffer. These are all signs that you have a culture problem.

A values exercise is a good place to start. Giving everyone a chance to share what they believe is important is an opportunity to refresh how employees think of the company. When employees are involved, they are more likely to be engaged and incorporate the values into their daily work.

If it’s time to define or revisit your values, take your time and get help to make sure you get it right. After all, you’re setting the course for guiding your team forward.

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