Elvis Presley once said, “Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ‘em all over everything you do.” He wasn’t wrong, and the best leaders out there recognize that.
When we study the companies with the very best cultures and the most engaged employees, we find four areas they have clearly mastered that others have not. We call these the four Engagement Elevators because they are very specific ways to Up Your Culture.
How To Utilize Core Values
The first Engagement Elevator, Shared Mission, lifts an organization off the ground floor, giving people a clear sense of where you’re going and why they’re working so hard to get there. A big part of creating a powerful shared mission is establishing the core values that will serve as the North Star for the journey.
Your company’s values define who you are as an organization and how you treat your customers and each other. They are expressed in the way people work together, share information, assign work and complete it.
Once those core values are defined, they can take hold and spread quickly. Imagine what happens when you put a few drops of red food coloring into a clear pitcher of water. You see it take hold, spread, and eventually change the water’s chemistry into a consistent blend of color. When you infuse core values into your business and live them out each day, you will see them take hold and spread in the same way.
Here’s how you can do that:
1. Make sure every person you hire naturally demonstrates your core values in their everyday life.
A company that values innovation and risk-taking will need to hire a very different kind of person than a company that values consistency and stability. Every person you hire will either add to or detract from your culture.
2. Recognize and reward those who demonstrate your core values.
If one of your core values is collaboration, every employee should give high fives and shout-outs to coworkers when they collaborate well on something. “Thank you for your collaboration” should be heard often.
3. Refuse to tolerate behaviors that do not align with your core values.
These core values will serve as the rules of the game for doing business there. Behaviors that align with your core values should lead to winning, and those that are in opposition to these values just should not be tolerated there. If you say you value integrity, but you allow an employee to behave in a way that lacks integrity… then you don’t really value integrity.
What Are Your Company Core Values?
From making hiring decisions to determining how to handle difficult situations, your company core values can guide many decision, but only it they're practices and followed.
Companies that recognize the power in establishing authentic values and bringing them to life make sure their fingerprints are everywhere!