If we think of it, values happen to be some of the most important things in our lives. By definition, values are meant to be ideas or behaviors that direct our decision-making. Besides giving us direction, values help us grow as individuals and give a meaning to our lives. Any facet of our life, be it individual, interpersonal, professional, or societal, is infused with values. Let’s deep dive into one of these facets; the values we must hold at the organization.

What are organizational core values?

An organization’s core values serve as its guiding principles and the foundation upon which it runs. These are what motivate the organization’s actions and are firmly ingrained in its workforce. Core values are the fundamental principles that guide an organization’s operations, culture, and every other aspect within the organization, towards a common end goal, and serve as a reminder to every team member that they share a larger purpose.

Organizational core values: An ignored aspect?

It is quite common to see organizations prominently highlight their core values. A company’s core values can be found on almost all its publications, be it brochures, HR manuals, or the ‘About us’ page on its business websites. However, the question remains: Are these values actually followed by the organizations? Or are they merely words on paper?

Well, as is frequently observed in most organizations, the decisions made, and the actions performed are rarely in line with the core values. This is evident from the leaders themselves failing to live by these values, to employees compromising on them to attain short-term goals. Subsequently, core values become a sidelined concept in these organizations. If the core values are not upheld and practiced by employees within the organization, they are likely to lose their significance.

Organizational core values: Why you must care?

An organization’s core values communicate what the organization stands for, and set the tone for all decision-making, work culture, employee hiring, and other aspects. Core values must be interwoven across the organization encompassing areas such as HR, marketing, finance, operations, and others.

Here are some of the ways core values significantly benefit an organization:

  1. Building a distinct identity

    An organization’s identity is largely defined and differentiated by its core values. Core values showcase the organization’s purpose, beliefs, ethics, and everything else that it stands for. Clients, employees, and partners are more likely to engage with a business if they are able to connect with its core values.

  2. Ensuring a team spirit

    As we know, teamwork is a factor on which an organization’s success majorly relies, and any team needs a shared code to function the right way. Core values provide a common ground for the team’s decision-making behaviors. A team that follows a common set of values is likely to efficiently work together for the same purpose.

  3. Strategic employee recruitment

    Core values also lay the foundation for building a team by providing a set of fundamentals that set the basis for hiring candidates. Core values give candidates a sense of the organization’s priorities, and therefore attract those candidates whose priorities align with those of the organization.

  4. Instilling client faith

    Besides, a client is more likely to have faith in a business that upholds its underlying core values when offering its goods and services. Core values largely ensure fair business practices, instilling a sense of trust within the clientele. Besides, a customer who can relate to a brand’s core values is likely to be a loyal customer.

  5. Strengthening team unity

    With an organization having multiple departments, team members in each department will have different focus areas. However, it’s the core values of the organization that ensure harmony and drive the members toward a common purpose and end goals.

  6. Guided decision-making

    Organizational core values govern our decision-making behaviors and anchor all decisions made across diverse scenarios. As value-based decisions are made on the basis of a framework, they are most likely to be clear, consistent, and in the best interests of the organization.

  7. Hope we have emphasized enough upon the significance of having organizational core values in place. Modern organizations must take up proactive measures to ensure that core values remain a vital part of the workplace culture. Every employee of the organization, starting from the leaders, must live by these values. As said earlier, core values are the foundation upon which an organization is built, and without a strong foundation, it would be challenging for an organization to become a success story.