As rightly said by the famous author and inventor Edward de Bono, "Effectiveness without values is a tool without a purpose." Any organization’s success depends a great deal on staying true to its core values. They not only shape the identity of the company but also act as a guiding light for all employees. When company values are well-defined and true to the way an organization does business, they can guide decision-making across all levels, help companies determine if they are on the right path for fulfilling their goals and make it easier to recruit people that will be a good organizational fit.
Every business is unique and so are their values. Having said that, many values share a common underlying philosophy, even though they may be phrased distinctly. I’ve handpicked five such core values for building a high-performance culture and how they help grow a business successfully.
Below is an explanation of what each of these values means to us and how they have helped us successfully grow our business.
Be a fair-minded organization
Fairness in business refers to treating people consistently and equally. It means giving customers a fair offering for their money. It also means providing a non-discriminatory work atmosphere where employees have equal opportunities to good benefits and work settings. Business decisions should strive towards creating a mutually fair outcome for all parties, be it with customers, partners, vendors or employees. All of this contributes to business continuity, helps attract and retain the best talent, increases productivity, and builds long-term value to shareholders and customers.
Openness – A powerful tool
Openness is a powerful value that opens doors and invites collaboration. Sometimes it is difficult yet being open with each other helps create a supportive culture. Openness works in two ways: willingness to share information freely with individuals within the organization as well as being equally open to take feedback every step of the way. Along with telling the truth in your corporate relationships, openly disclosing vital news, financial information and other data useful to stakeholders are chief to long-lasting success.
Give respect, take respect
Respect in business relationships essentially means acknowledging the needs and feelings of those involved with your business. With genuine respect, attention should be paid to employee, customer and partner needs without having to be reminded. Diversity should be celebrated and every voice within the organization should be heard with equal respect and an unbiased perspective, to ensure that the organization excels in what they do every day. Respecting everyone’s ideas and contributions help facilitate a culture that makes all members proud and ensures great ideas are allowed to surface regardless of where they are generated in the organization.
Best work is done with teamwork
Collaboration is basic human nature and stands as one of the principal hallmarks of human accomplishment. The greatest advantage of teamwork is that it achieves what individuals can't, through the medium of simple cooperation. From an organizational perspective, it is equally central to be a team player as it is the joint effort of these individual units that come together to make the organization what they are. Making personal goals secondary to group goals may seem difficult, but it pays off for everyone in the end.
Accountability and execution are inextricably intertwined. Each of us should hold ourselves accountable not only to deliver on specific mandate but also any downstream goals the work may support. This creates a culture of mutual accountability – “my success is dependent on you and vice versa”. An organization can deliver outstanding results by establishing a culture of exceptional execution and rewarding those who create great outcomes.
Company values aren’t just an assortment of words that you think potential customers would like, they represent the essence of the business. They are not based on the “leaders who run them,” but are the very fabric of every person associated with the company – from the leadership team to a brand-new hire. This applies to all organizations, irrespective of whether they are at a nascent or advanced stage.
Having a set of values to be followed instills a sense of unity among employees, indirectly contributing to the overall success of the organization.