Every entrepreneur or senior executive with a solution to a problem can be brimming with passion. They’ve got a startup idea and a vision that inspires them to wake up every morning and push through the difficult times so that their dream can become a reality. However, if you’re like most people, there’s a chance you have a hard time channeling this passion and energy to help you move forward with the speed and decisiveness you wish you could. Taking time to outline your core values will help you create this focus. It’ll help you look away from what’s not important and concentrate on what is. Your business can go many places, but it won’t go far if you don’t even know what defines it. And core values is what defines a companies culture.
Strong core values can drive smart hiring practices, reduce turnover and absenteeism, increase productivity and quality of work, help guide decision-making, improve customer relationships, and boost employee morale. The startup phase is the best time to think about core values because it’s much easier to make changes early on and ensure that every aspect of your business is in alignment as you grow. Determining your company’s core values will have a big impact on the type of organization your startup becomes, so choose wisely. Your ultimate success depends on it.
Let’s look at some core values for you to consider as you think about launching your startup.
Happiness/Passion. Passion for what you do and happiness in the workplace lead to more productive employees, fewer workplace problems, and a higher quality of work. Only recruit people who are upbeat about life, want to go on the company mission and are all about the team.
Always Be Learning. Building a culture that values continuous education means your employees will grow with your organization and deliver better results. Consider offering ways to enable continuous employee training and professional development.
Innovation/Creativity. Innovation is probably the value that will give your company the biggest competitive advantage. When employees are encouraged to innovate, they’ll bring breakthrough solutions to the table. Recruit people with a growth mindset and encourage them to take qualified risks, even if they fail.
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Transparent and Honest. Being honest and transparent, both internally and externally, is a tenet that is extremely important. If anything about your company isn’t genuine, from your business partnerships to your marketing campaigns, your customers will be able to tell. Worse, your employees will know and they will start to cut corners. The values will be valueless and the culture will disintegrate.
Respect. This is a simple word but one that is extremely important to the culture. Establish this value to allow for open communication up and down the organization with complete disregard to pecking order, politics or protocol. Respecting people will always allow you do the right thing. By the way, a byproduct of respect is trust. And it’s really hard to build a successful company if people don’t trust each other.
Excellent Customer Service. Your customers’ satisfaction will make or break your business, so a customer-first focus should be at the center of everything you do. You can’t possibly have any kind of company and not want to deliver excellent customer service. Customer loyalty should be a measurable goal of your business that you measure constantly.
Giving Back. When your company is doing something to benefit others, your employees feel good about working with you, and your customers feel good about buying your products. Whether you support a cause, or are eco-friendly and sustainable, it’s important that you give back in a way that allows your customers to embrace you as a good company.
Statistically, most startups fail. Hedge your bets and craft a powerful mission that everyone can believe in with a strong set of values to help you get there.