Every business owner wants to ensure their business is successful. But what does it take to get there? It might seem simple - have a structure of objectives, targets, KPIs to hit, everyone working towards the same goals. However, these all can’t be achieved without getting to the core, core values.
Core values are essential to any business, big or small. They define a company’s character and ensure that they are on the right path towards success, whilst also helping to create a motivational and inspiring place to work.
The bigger picture is, values cannot only be beneficial for you and your team but also outside of your organisation – the customers you work with. Values help educate your customers and potential customers about what your company stands for, your culture and your brand identity. It’s no secret that when customers believe they share the same values as a company, they will remain loyal.
Defining your company values:
It’s important to remember that when setting company values, it’s a team effort. People come first. Values won’t be successful if they’re enforced from top level. They need to be discussed and well thought out with the wider team. Whilst each value should align with wider company objectives, values should first and foremost relate to current and future employees on a personal and professional level.
Use your company values as a measure:
Measure prospective employees on the values you’ve set. Do they possess elements of your company values? Your values should be a reflection on you as a company; there’s no harm in having your values displayed on your website or social channels - make potential employees want to work for you. Do your values align with job candidates’ personal values? In the end, having employees who all share the similar values will help you achieve those ever-important objectives.
S4RB’s company values:
As mentioned, it’s all about people first and that’s exactly what we did here at S4RB. We gathered a range of existing employees, from different levels and departments to form a culture team. We then discussed the values we already possessed and worked them into additional values. Making sure that each one set would benefit, support, encourage and spark that fire in our employees. Here is the result!
Our five core company values:
We are welcoming. Not only are we welcoming to our colleagues and visitors we strive towards making our customers feel welcome too.
One customer commented "S4RB's strengths are their customer service, their focus on adding value and their ability to help build engaging content."
We are approachable. We make sure we are approachable and polite if we ask someone to wait. We are always ready to listen and learn, and we don’t assume we know it all.
We are flexible. We are ready to adapt to a change in direction and flex around our customers’ needs. We understand the nature of the industry and know retailers need to react quickly.
One retailer said “S4RB's strengths are their flexibility, their ability to understand what’s needed and to go beyond the standard software to deal with the issues that we face”
We are committed. To our customers, to each other. Working hard to ensure we complete tasks when we said.
One customer explained “As a company we are nervous about external people talking to our supplier base, but they haven’t put a foot wrong. We haven’t had a single negative piece of feedback since they have been in.”
We are appreciative. We try to always recognise and applaud those around us that have played a part. Celebrate all successes and appreciate everyone’s efforts.
Celebrate your company values
Having a shared channel where you can share success, give praise and recognition for others is a great step towards reinforcing the values you’ve set for your company.
Another way to do this is to find creative ways to present your values, be loud and be proud. These are YOUR values – put them on the wall, mount them on canvas, have them as a company screensaver! Whatever it is, celebrate them. It will encourage employees and remind them of the great company they work for.
Collaboration is key to creating company values that work
Of course, defining values isn’t a quick and simple process. It’s commitment to the cause, listening to one another, taking on feedback and development. It’s a team effort. That doesn’t just mean top level team either, it’s about gathering employees from all different areas to form one team.
Developing values is about collaboration. Working together as one team.
Not only do we apply this notion to our own company, we encourage all of our customers to work as one team with their suppliers. This might not be setting values, but you’re setting that level of commitment to each other – encouraging collaboration between retailer and supplier – in turn retailers are able to leverage suppliers as an essential resource to deliver on their own brand goals.