Posted by EmployeeChannel on 3.15.2017
Corporate vision, mission, and values form the cornerstone of every organization and its culture. An authentic company culture simply cannot exist without them. Culture is much more than free snacks, drycleaning, and office perks — it’s a mutual commitment by every member of the organization to operate with a common mission and by a set of core values.
Brian Chesky, founder of Airbnb, explains the connection between core values and company culture:
Culture is a thousand things, a thousand times. It’s living the core values when you hire; when you write an email; when you are working on a project; when you are walking in the hall.Brian Chesky, Founder, Airbnb
A strong culture isn’t just a “nice-to-have;” it’s directly tied to a more engaged workforce and essential for attracting and retaining top talent. An organization’s culture, defined by its vision, mission and core values, should remain top of mind at every stage in the employee lifecycle.
Here are four suggestions for integrating your mission and corporate values into ongoing employee communications.
New and prospective hires are heavily influenced by first impressions; this is the time to let them know what you stand for.
Employees are more likely to recognize and remember the importance of an organization’s mission and values if they are a central focus of the hiring and onboarding process.
Reference corporate values in candidate interviews, in offer letters, in public-facing social media campaigns, and in the employee handbook.
If a top candidate exemplifies any of your core values, let them know! Candidates and new hires are looking for proof that a new career move will be a good cultural fit. Value alignment plays a major part in fostering a sense of belonging.
It’s always a good policy to praise employees for exemplary work, but an even better one to relate their results back to your mission and core values. Corporate values are infinitely more relatable if they can be associated with tangible successes.
Keep in mind that praise doesn’t need to be work-related. If one employee used PTO to volunteer at an orphanage, share her story with the company and explain why it makes her an asset to the company and the community.
Successful businesses are defined by their ability to adapt to changing markets and evolving customer demands. Unfortunately, internal change can create anxiety and should always be approached carefully.
Communicate corporate changes promptly, respectfully, and if possible, in reference to the company mission and leading core values.
Employees want to know how internal changes are moving things forward. If they don’t understand why something is changing, they may become frustrated or lose trust in your ability to make effective decisions. Use storytelling to paint a picture of how things will look in the future and why this step is critical for the company’s success.
Leadership plays a pivotal role in establishing and propagating company culture. Employees respect leaders who stand firmly behind a corporate mission and who lead by example. Every employee in a leadership position, from line managers to the CEO, should reference the mission and core values in management activities and communications with staff.
Keep in mind that no matter how well corporate values are communicated, culture will suffer if company leadership doesn’t operate by the same principles.
Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.David Cummings, Co-Founder, Pardot
Why have corporate values if there is no commitment to live and work by them?
Communicate and live your values and watch your culture and your employees thrive.