Do you find that you are constantly attracting the wrong types of people? Whether clients, business owners or team members, does it feel like they are on a different page to you? Want to understand more about why this may be the case?

We have been in these situations many times, it’s a constant struggle for ambitious business owners who want to grow. We have like many other business owners learnt the hard way.

Here are some of the scenarios we have had to manage, have you experienced similar?

  • Client works with a team member for 6 months, then thinks they can buy them out of their contract
  • Client after an ongoing relationship decides they want to define the services you offer
  • Team member wants to work directly with the client and cut us out
  • Team member decides to resign though blackmails us to pay an extortionate fee to complete client handovers

Its only in the last 18 months we have really understood that our values are our business backbone. It’s not that we have not had them in place, we have had them from day one. What we have learnt though is that we must honour them in everything we do and set the right example. By doing this we have found we can truly attract the right type of people. And recently throughout the coronavirus pandemic, they have become even more fundamental to ensuring your business survives.

What are values?

In essence, your company values are the beliefs, philosophies, and principles that drive your business. They impact the team experience you deliver as well as the relationship you develop with your clients.

Values are your company’s DNA and they help you differentiate your business from the competition. That’s why you can’t make any important business decisions without having them in mind.

However, having company values does not mean having a polished communication plan around nice values and principles.
You must truly honour your company values in everything you do and set the right example for your team members. It is the only way you can build trust in the workplace. Don’t ask team members to follow company values if you don’t follow and integrate them into your daily work.

Your values will be the backbone of your business

Because your company values reflect what you and your team stand for, they give them a sense of responsibility. Indeed, every decision you and your team make should be aligned with the company values you’ve communicated with them.

Each of your team members becomes accountable for those decisions by asking a simple question: does this decision reflect our values?

But most importantly, your core values drive your business and help everyone reach the goals you’ve set for the business. As mentioned earlier, your values are your company’s DNA and they help you differentiate your business from the competition.

The bottom line is that your core values impact all the aspects of your business. From the service your teams deliver to your sales and marketing strategies to your recruitment processes the list is endless! Partnered with helping to boost team motivation, morale and team advocacy – our question would be why wouldn’t you have them?

Our values journey at Wendy Johnstone Ltd

During the first year of Wendy Johnstone Ltd’s existence, we did not have any written company values. To be honest, we did not really see the benefit as it was just our Founder running the business.

Wendy sat in one room, day to day, working on getting our next client and evolving our services. Along with gathering feedback from existing clients on what we could improve, values didn’t seem important at the time.

What we did not realize at the time was that we did have company values, just not on paper. As Wendy started to grow the team, the values reflected everything she was passionate about.

As a result, this made us work effectively together by enabling each of us to make aligned decisions independently. We also became super transparent about sharing and bringing to life our values day to day.

How values drive business success

As mentioned, and as we found, your company values play an essential role in your business.
Without them, it’s almost impossible to align your team with your strategic goals, enhance collaboration, or empower them. Here’s why:

  • Your company values help you and your team make the right decisions
    • Having a clear set of values helps your employees understand what you stand for
  • They help you improve your internal and external communications
    • Team communication plays an important role in building a better company culture, improving team satisfaction, and increasing team engagement
  • They have a direct impact on team motivation and engagement
    • When your team communication is built around your core company values, it helps boost team motivation and engagement
  • They help your clients understand what your company stands for
    • It is extremely important to make sure that your clients understand what your core values are
  • They help you attract and retain top talent
    • Company values are extremely important when it comes to talent attraction and retention
  • They help you attract clients that share the same values
    • In addition to existing, any potential new clients also care about what your company stands for.
  • They make your marketing and internal comms teams’ lives easier
    • To align their messages, your marketing team needs to have a great understanding of your company values

Time for reflection

The global pandemic has completely disrupted the way businesses are functioning. Shops are closing, teams are operating virtually, and redundancies are increasing ⁠— especially in the airlines, hotel and restaurant industries.
A global crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic is a true test. You will see whether the values companies have been communicating are real or just a part of a polished plan.
Indeed, people, including team members, tend to question companies’ trustworthiness in times of uncertainty and anxiety such as COVID-19.
To build or regain their teams and customers’ trust, businesses are actively assessing their core company values. Here is what they have been considering:

  • “Have we done the right things?”
  • “Did the decisions we made resonate with our company values?”
  • “Did we try our best to empower our team during these difficult times?”
  • “Are we honouring the values we’ve been sharing so far?”

It’s too early to say to what extent COVID-19 is going to change the way companies define and communicate their core values. What’s definite is the actions taken now to strengthen their values will directly impact their ability to gain people’s trust and overcome the crisis.

Is it time for you to reflect?

Getting your businesses values across can make a big difference to how you are perceived. 

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