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Integrate company values and culture into your workplace

January 25, 2022
This rearview shot of two young workers giving each other a fist bump in an office represents the importance of strong company values and culture.

Corporate values, purpose, and vision are crucial to every company and its culture. To motivate and retain top talent, companies must incorporate their values into their everyday work culture. Doing so enhances a business’s brand, which also helps to attract new employees.

To help your corporation define its values, communicate those values to employees, and ensure they’re incorporated into your workplace, this guide will answer a few common questions about company values and culture. 

What are company values and culture? 

Company values are the ideals your organization strives to project into the world and promote internally. It’s also how employees interact with and feel about one another, leadership, and their everyday tasks. 

Your business leaders should ensure that your company’s values are actually represented in your everyday culture. For instance, an organization that strongly values collaboration and community would seek to create a workplace that minimizes competition between employees, rewards teamwork, and encourages positive internal relationships. 

What are some examples of company values and culture? 

It is important to clearly communicate your company’s purpose, vision, and values right from the start. These “core values” or “statements of purpose” guide company decisions, actions, and employee behavior. 

If you are reworking or establishing new company values, consider using these examples to communicate to your employees what your values are and what they should look like in practice:

  • Commitment: Organizations that strive to inspire employee commitment to the company rather than prioritizing individual goals should create a culture focused on big-picture goals. This might take the form of having an overarching quarterly or annual goal for employees to keep in mind when completing their day-to-day assignments or scheduling weekly meetings with the entire company so each team understands how they’re contributing to a larger goal.
  • Integrity: Inspiring honesty will likely be easy when the business is operating smoothly, but it may be more challenging when mistakes are made. Companies can promote integrity by creating designated times and safe spaces for employees to express concerns to their managers, whether they’re sharing their own mistakes and doubts or reporting issues they see in other processes. 
  • Creativity: Innovation can provide your company with new strategies and even potential features or products. Encourage employees to share their ideas by sending out regular surveys and asking managers to discuss growth opportunities with their direct reports. 
  • Inclusivity: Promoting diversity and inclusion requires a deliberate effort to listen to a variety of opinions from employees with different backgrounds, skills, and life experiences. 

Choose values that will shape the workplace culture you want to cultivate at your business. For example, a business with a fast-paced dynamic environment will likely be interested in values of independence and decisiveness, whereas a business primarily focused on team projects may instead value collaboration and seeking input from others. 

What are the benefits of establishing company values and culture? 

Companies with established values and a culture that supports those values have staff that understand their purpose, conduct themselves properly in the workplace, and have a passion for what they do. 

Studies have found that happy employees are 13% more productive. When your company’s values and culture are practiced daily, employees will know what to expect and strive for while they’re at work. This direction increases workplace satisfaction and ensures your entire team is working toward the same goals with the same supportive outlook. 

Plus, organizations with clear, meaningful values will develop a positive reputation in their industry, helping to improve retention and attract top talent. 

How can my company integrate our values and culture into the workplace?

Establishing a workplace culture that aligns with your values requires deliberate effort and planning. To cultivate the right work environment for your company, try these strategies. 

1. Ask employees what their values are

You can communicate your values to employees by asking them to share their own principles and thoughts about work. This will allow them to relate their own philosophies and ideals to your business, helping to establish buy-in. 

You can learn what your employees’ values are and give them space to consider how they correspond to your company’s by:

  • Creating a poll or questionnaire. Add both multiple choice and short answer questions to give employees a chance to expand on their viewpoints and think more deeply about your company’s values and how they relate to them. 
  • Encouraging them to share within teams. Employees can share their values and their views on the company’s values by discussing them together. This can be especially useful if your employees work in teams and in close proximity to one another. 

Company values should be a mutual commitment made by every member of the organization to operate with a common purpose in mind.

2. Get buy-in from top employees

Seeing members of leadership follow company values can go a long way toward facilitating a value-centric culture at all levels of your organization. You can jumpstart a new deliberate work culture effort by selecting a few well-respected, enthusiastic employees to champion your programs. 

Empower these employees to organize events, mentor new employees, share their ideas, and otherwise spread your values throughout the company. 

3. Recognize employees who display company values

When employees work to better your company culture and embody your values, recognize their accomplishments. Doing so at a meeting, whether it’s your regular company-wide meeting or each department’s internal meetings, displays your values and celebrates employees for embodying them. 

When recognizing employees who work to create a better company culture, highlight the specific value they are displaying. For example, if an employee had a new idea to streamline communication with clients and drafted a plan to roll it out to the rest of your team, you would honor their accomplishment by tying it to your company’s value of innovation. 

4. Create a workplace-giving program

You can show employees you care about the same causes they do with a workplace giving program. Workplace giving programs are a form of corporate philanthropy and can take various forms depending on your employees’ interests. 

For example, you might organize a company-wide volunteer day where a group of employees all go volunteer together. Or, you can let employees choose what causes they would like to support independently and then show your commitment by creating a matching gift program. In this program, employees can fill out an application after they make a donation to a cause they care about. Then, the company can verify their donation and match their contribution, showing your company’s investment in the causes they care about.

Emphasize company values and culture

Company values and culture shape the way your business operates. Get started by defining your company values, communicating them to employees, and consulting with them about how those values resonate with them. After all, a company that has its values reflected consistently in its culture will have happier, more successful employees who are eager to work. 

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