So far, you have looked at your business’ Mission Statement and Vision Statement describing “Why your entity exists” and “What your entity will be in the medium to long term”.
Next, it is time to look at the third foundation statement of your business: the “Values Statement”. This statement briefly describes “how your business and employees will conduct themselves”. It houses the core beliefs and values central to the entity. The “Values Statement” generally remains unchanged over time and can be used to build relationships with customers and suppliers, as well as building a positive internal culture.
Developing a “Values Statement” is best undertaken as a brainstorming process. Try beginning with the phrase “We believe in…” It is wise to reflect on your own individual values as your business is a reflection of you and hence the business’ values should enshrine what you stand for. Limit the final version to four or five core values with some simple concise wording around each one.
Examples of some values you can consider are ‘Respect’, ‘Integrity’, ‘Diversity’, ‘Service’, ‘Inclusion’, ‘Commitment’, ‘Innovative’, ‘Collaborative’ and ‘Candour’.
The core values need to permeate your organisation to ensure they are not just words but rather the foundation for behaviours and ethics of the entity. An effective way to achieve this is to have the “Values Statement” values incorporated into your performance appraisal process.
Creating and communicating a “Values Statement” across your organisation ensures employees are aligned and helps employee engagement. It is a useful tool in the recruitment process to ensure new hires are a good fit not only within the organisation but with colleagues. A good Values Statement will help create a positive inclusive work environment.
Examples of some well-known entities “Values Statement” follows:-
“Integrity, Commitment to Excellence, Customer Orientation, Shareholder Focus” –Bombardier
“Leadership, Collaboration, Integrity, Accountability, Passion, Diversity & Quality” – Coca-Cola
“Reach, Learn, Di-bear-sity, Colla-bear-ate, Give, Cele-bear-ate” – Build-A-Bear Workshop
Use this week to develop, review or modify your Values Statement to ensure you are creating a winning culture and building a sound foundation for business success.
Ross – Virtual CFO