- Successful companies know where they are going, why and how they are going to get there.
- They have a clearly defined vision and a clearly defined set of goals.
- A lot of them also have a clearly defined and articulated set of company core values that everyone is aware of and understands – employees, customers and business partners.
Bring together goals and values
Clear corporate values underpin everything you do as an organisation. They say why you exist as an organisation, how you want to do business and why. They are also an integral part of goal-setting and aligning your employees around your goals. Your goals are a definition of where you want to be and your values are a definition of the behaviours and attitudes that will help you to get there. Bringing goals and values together helps employees understand what is required of them and why.
For example, say one of your goals is to improve your repeat business from 75% of returning customers to 95%, one of your values could be customer-focused. And you can expand on what behaviours make you, as an organisation, customer-focused to make it even more explicit what behaviours employees need to demonstrate and what customers can expect from your organisation.
Working together to achieve goals
When you have a strong set of company core values and employees are bought into those values, you encourage the behaviours, attitudes and competencies that will enable you, as an organisation, to achieve your goals. Values bring everyone together, ensuring the organisation is working as a whole.
Values-driven organisations have a really strong sense of identity, which is also a defining characteristic of successful organisations. Yet, a lot of organisations have employees who are not sure of their company goals or their company core values. A survey by employee engagement specialists Reward Gateway highlighted this problem. Of the 1,500 workers and 750 senior decision-makers it polled, only 25% said they felt completely informed about their employer’s corporate mission and only 32% said they felt informed about the values of their organisation.
Communicate goals and core values clearly
What you want as a business owner is to bring goals and core values together in a clear, accessible and visible way so that everyone in your organisation ‘gets it’. You want them to understand and work to your values. You want them to believe in them and incorporate them into their everyday working lives. And you want them to recognise how those values are helping the organisation to achieve its goals.
It is easy for employees to think that company goals and values are something that only the senior team need to bother with and that they don’t really relate to their work on the ground. It couldn’t be further from the truth, but you need to show employees why. By aligning goals with values, you are making it clearer to employees that everyone has their part to play in achieving goals and that the little, everyday behaviours are just as important as the big, strategic decision-making.
Aligning employees around company goals and core values demonstrates that their contribution counts. And it helps employees feel proud of the work that they do. If they can see the link between their behaviour and business performance, it encourages them to exhibit the behaviours that are required.
Photo by Ridham Nagralawala on Unsplash