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  • Writer's pictureChris Fevens

How to Identify Your Business' Core Values and Why This is Important

A business's core values are essentially the shared principles and beliefs that your company is built upon and are often what separates you from the competition in your space. Your values define who your company is. They influence all business decisions including the product or service you offer, the prices you charge, who you hire, and ultimately the relationships you build with your customers. Examples of core values include Honesty, Loyalty, Respect, Accountability, Teamwork, and so on.

In this blog entry, we’ll explore why business values are so important, how you can discover the most important values your business has, and look at some great examples to help you get started.

Why are business values so important?

There are certainly many reasons why core values are important for any business, but here are perhaps the most important of all:

  1. Companies use core values to make decisions. As an example, if one of the core values of your company is to stand behind the quality of your products, any products that do not meet your standards are not offered to your customers

  2. A company's core values explain what the company stands for and clarify its identity to clients and potential customers. Particularly in today's competitive market, having a set of values that resonate with the public gives you a competitive edge.

  3. There is an increasing emphasis on core values as a recruitment and retention tool. As job seekers can easily research companies, they are doing their due diligence to determine if their prospective employers hold values they believe are crucial when deciding to apply for a job.

How do companies identify their core values?

There are various methods that companies can use to identify their core values. Here are some common approaches that we recommend:

  1. Conduct a brainstorming session with employees: A company can gather a diverse group of employees and conduct a brainstorming session to identify the core values that are most important to them. This approach can help ensure that the values are aligned with the company's culture and the employees' beliefs.

  2. Analyze the company's history and culture: A company can look back at its history and culture to identify the values that have been most important over time. This approach can help the company identify values that are already deeply ingrained in its culture.

  3. Conduct surveys and interviews with employees: A company can conduct surveys and interviews with employees to gather feedback on the values that are most important to them. This approach can help the company identify values that are aligned with the employees' beliefs and priorities.

  4. Analyze the competition: A company can analyze the core values of its competitors to identify the values that are most important in the industry. This approach can help the company identify values that are important for its success and competitiveness.

  5. Consult with experts: A company can consult with experts in organizational behavior and culture to identify the core values that are most important for its success. This approach can provide the company with insights and perspectives that it may not have considered otherwise.

How do you actually make your value mean something?

Now that you have a better idea of how to discover and develop your core values, how do you actually follow them? To make your company's core values mean something, you need to do more than just write them down. Here are some tips on how to make your core values meaningful and impactful:

Live by them: Your core values should guide your decision-making and behavior. Make sure that you and your employees are living by the values every day, and that they are reflected in your company culture.

Communicate them: Make sure that your core values are communicated clearly and consistently to your employees, customers, and stakeholders. Use them as a framework for decision-making, and highlight examples of how they are being put into practice.

Integrate them into your processes: Incorporate your core values into your hiring, training, and performance evaluation processes. Make sure that your employees understand how the values are relevant to their work, and reward employees who embody them.

Use them to guide strategic planning: Use your core values to guide your company's strategic planning and decision-making. Make sure that your goals and initiatives are aligned with your values, and use them as a framework for evaluating new opportunities.

Review and revise them regularly: Your core values should evolve with your company and the world around you. Regularly review and revise your values to ensure that they remain relevant and meaningful.

Identifying core values really is crucial for companies as they provide a clear understanding of the company's identity, culture, and purpose. They also help establish a sense of direction and provide a framework for setting priorities and making choices. By identifying core values, companies can create a strong foundation for their culture, attract like-minded employees and customers, and differentiate themselves from competitors.


For more assistance in identifying and living your company's core values, a staff member at Fevens Content Design is always available to help.

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