Value statements go even further than your vision and mission statements. A good way to think of your value statements is to think of them as self imposed “laws” that you and your company agree to live by. There should be between 3 and 5 value statements that clearly outline how everyone in the company behaves in every situation.
Your value statements can be really hard to pin down. First off, most people do not go deep enough into their value statements. Most companies stop at, “we agree to live and operate with integrity.” *Clap* *Clap* congratulations on creating something of no value whatsoever!
Secondly, a lot of companies will create value statements that are purely aspirational. Meaning they do not live by them today, but hope to live by them one day. This is valuable, but again not enough.
The real challenge here is to create between 3 and 5 values you currently live by right now. Not only do you have to live by these values but they also have to be at the core of who you are as a company. They have to be meaningful. They have to go deep enough to move or inspire you. These will be the “laws” you and the company use to make tough decisions. Decision on when and how to recognize an employee. On the flip side when to discipline or let go an employee.
Here are a few questions to help you along the path of discovering a powerful set of values:
- What behaviors do we value at our company? (Or, what behaviors are expected of our team members?)
- What behaviors do we NOT value at our company? (Or- what behaviors are unacceptable to our company?)
- Specifically, how should our team members treat each other?
- Specifically, how should our team members treat our customers?
- Specifically, how should our team members treat our vendors, our equipment, our cash, and our facility?
- What are the behaviors that I’ve seen in this company or other companies I’ve worked at that are unacceptable to me?
- What other values do I hold dear that I want to be laws that guide our company?
- How do our individual team members need to behave in order for us to have the kind of company culture I desire?
Remember this is one crucial area where you need to take your time. Be tough on yourself here. Be critical and look at these in depth.
When you have a solid foundation of values, life and business gets a little easier.
Professional Business Coach