What are your company’s mission and core values? What is best for the company? How do you know your employees agree with them and will be influenced by them and how can a company teach, measure and judge if they are effective in meeting your company’s objective?
Defining Your Mission
This is an important step in the evolution of your company’s purpose. Once this is established it will aid in your blueprint to set the company’s direction in order to achieve its goals.
An effective Mission Statement is one that is specific. Simply saying you want to be to be “the biggest, the best, the most whatever” is totally meaningless as that type of a statement could apply to every one of your competitors… heck, it can apply to every company ever created.
A more meaningful and therefore more effective Mission Statement would be something like, “To help academically challenged children graduate from high school” or “To create a bicycle helmet that is more protective yet lighter than anything currently on the market at a lower cost than the best helmets currently available.”
An even more effective Statement would be on that includes percentages, time frames, costs or anything that is specifically measurable.
Creating Your Core Values
For most businesses there are a number of core values that is generally accepted such as being “customer centric” or dealing with people honestly and fairly. A great example of this happened many decades ago at Federal Express. The company had a motto “when it absolutely, positively has to be there the next day” and business clients relied on Federal Express to adhere to that motto, regardless of any extenuating circumstances.
One time they had trouble delivering a package on time that the client paid around $50 to have delivered. Because the company’s culture was so ingrained into all its employees, an employee, not a top executive, rented a helicopter to have a package delivered that cost FedEx about $5,000.
When it was learned that FedEx went to extraordinary measures in order to satisfy their promise to the customer, their reputation went through the roof as customers saw proof of FedEx’s commitment to satisfy them… that’s the power of culture. The employee knew instinctively what to do even though FedEx lost a lot of money on that one order.
There are core values entrepreneurs should seek to instill in their team members that are unique to their company.
A company that sells a product where people could get hurt during its normal use (say power tools) may have a core value to make sure every customer is fully trained in using the product and assigns a company employee to verify that he or she personally trained the customer.
Another company that produces high-fashion, quality apparel may have a core value that it will not sell any product that doesn’t “wow” the customer no matter how much profit they could earn on that item.
Core values aren’t limited only to products. Some companies want their employees to be humble and work with humble people. In this case, the company believed “being humble” led to providing the best customer service possible.
Be very specific when it comes to identifying, implementing and educating your core values to your employees and also other affiliates. We all assume that honesty, integrity, teamwork, community and customer service are important but if entrepreneurs don’t understand why those should be their core values it won’t resonate well throughout the organization. And never forget you must work at developing your culture everyday to keep it consistent, paramount and working effectively.
Now that you’ve identified your company’s core values, let’s talk about why culture is important in the workplace.