January is notoriously the month where we take stock of our current circumstances, consider what happened in the previous year and plan for the next 12 months.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” … that is why putting a plan together for the next 12 months, and even beyond that, is so important for all businesses – no matter the size.
Prior to setting goals, both personal and business, a business must make sure that it has clear core values that both the business owners and the employees are aware of, to live and abide by every day. Without having those values, you, your employees and your customers may not have a clear understanding of what the culture of the business truly is. If you have not already been through the process of outlining your core values, it is a process that you should try and involve all your employees, as they are likely to see the business in a different light, with the customer service side in mind. When going through this process, be prepared to write everything down in the first instance as no idea should be disregarded. The sort of questions you should be asking yourself are:
- How would you describe the culture of your business?
- How would your employees describe the culture of your business?
- What would your customers say about your business?
In order to answer the second and third questions, you will benefit from carrying out an external survey to obtain some key feedback as to what people are saying are the two most important assets in your business prior to starting this process. Both staff and customers are the two factors crucial to driving your business success, therefore, the actions that you take as a result of their opinion and help, should be of great value to you and your business.
So… what are core values?
Our core values are as follows:
- Make a positive impact
- Get it done
- Deliver to a high standard
- Always make time
- Dare to be bold
The list could go on and on, however you should focus on 5-7 core values that you want to use in order to drive your business. At Raffingers, our core values are what we live and breathe every day.
Core values are generally also used as part of the company’s mission statement. Some examples of large brand mission statements are as follows:
Amazon – “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Nike – “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Starbucks – “Our mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”
Make your mission statement different and stand out from the crowd. It should be personalised to your vision and show off your corporate identity. You mission statement could also be specific to the markets you are targeting or potentially the type of product/service that you are offering.
To summarise, core values are the essence of a company’s identity; they support the vision and shape the culture of an organisation. Core values act as ‘decision-maker filters’ for daily business operation. They align a teams thinking and help to build a better working culture.
Written by Adam Moody
If you are interested in a core values development session or want to find out more get in touch with Adam at Adam.firstname.lastname@example.org