Believe it or not, customers actually care about your business’ corporate values. They want to work with businesses that care about those around them and have motives other than growing into a billion dollar organization. While you may feel like developing a list of corporate values or writing out a succinct mission statement is nothing more than going through the motions, you’d be wrong. These things represent who your company is and explain to people why you’re worth buying from.
Four Reasons Why Your Corporate Values are Important
If you’re still not sold on the idea that corporate values are important, take a look at this list, and reconsider. You’ll soon realize that businesses, like people, thrive when they commit to being unselfish and caring.
- They humanize your brand. “There’s a lot of talk in Corporate America about ‘values,’” explains Ravi Chiruvolu, CEO of Slingshot Power. “And while that’s great, why should ‘Corporate Values’ be different than personal values?” What an excellent point that’s rarely considered. If businesses are run by people, shouldn’t they be defined by the values of those people? Corporate values have a way of humanizing brands and infusing life into them. This allows you to connect with customers in real ways.
- They allow you to hire the right people. Again, it all comes back to people. Employees are attracted to organizations with good corporate values and want to work for brands that they believe in. By abiding clearly by these values, you’re able to hire the right people. In turn, good hiring procedures improve your relationships with clients. It’s a continuous cycle that’s put into motion by clear, honest corporate values.
- They increase referral traffic. Customers don’t always remember the brand or business behind the products they buy. After all, they’re much more focused on the product than they are the logo. However, that all changes when they have a positive interaction with the brand behind the product. When they do business with a company that’s honest, open, and reliable, they’re much more likely to tell their friends about that business. Consequently, this drives referral traffic and increases sales.
- They drive actual change. It’s hard to change things in stagnant business climates. In fact, it’s often impossible. However, with the right corporate values in place, change becomes a habit. For example, if you’re committed to improving customer service, you’re going to change the processes by which you interact with customers. On the flip side, if you don’t have any corporate values related to customer service, there won’t be much drive to make changes. You’d only be driven to do so when profits decline.
But how do corporate values come about, and who ensures that they stick? Honestly, it takes a team effort. Though organizational leaders need to take charge and help establish values, other employees need to step up, and take action. You must encourage employees to have conversations about core values, integrate corporate values into company materials, and link corporate values to performance objectives. Only then do corporate values become a priority.
A quick way to test if you take corporate values seriously is to ask yourself whether or not you spend as much time thinking about these values as you do profits. The answer will tell you where your priorities are.
Make Corporate Values a Priority
Does your business place an emphasis on corporate values, or are they an afterthought of your organization? According to a study of 150 multinational corporations, the 10 most mentioned corporate values are integrity, concern for customers, respect for all, teamwork, respect for employees, innovation, ownership of actions, excellence, safety, and quality.
As you can see, corporate values are important – especially as they correlate to satisfying customers. Spend time developing unique values, and show the marketplace that you’re invested in more than making profits.