Values. They’ll help you hire the best staff, retain the best staff and win tight pitches. They’ll help you make quick decisions and give you the best chance to grow.
At the loft, we’ve worked with several companies – helping them to develop their values. Sometimes with company owners in isolation, sometime with management teams and sometimes with entire organisations. Questioning them, getting to know them and eventually trying to define who they are.
There are many ways to create a set off values, some ways require more time than others, some are more long-term than others.
But for this post, we’re sharing a simple method that will allow you to create your very own – right from the get-go.
Here we go…
1. You don’t have to call them values!
Not everybody likes the term values – or its sister term – ‘Mission Statement.’ If that’s the case – let’s go for ‘Beliefs’ or how about ‘Who We Are & What We Do.’ Different companies will have different ways of speaking to each other. Choose the language that feels right for you and your company.
2. What do you like about your company?
Yes, it is as simple as that. What do you like most about your business? What are the action/behaviours/results that please you the most?
Here’s a real tip – look out for are the simple things that people in your team does.
a) The staff in our accountancy firm always take the time to walk guests back to the exit in the other side of the building even though there are signs everywhere and they wouldn’t have any problem getting out.
b) Our creative team always delivers to tight deadlines – always! They actually seem to revel in the challenge of a tight deadline.
c) Our IT staff are so helpful to customers that when they’re out on-call, they even fix things that aren’t theirs to fix. They just can’t help themselves.
d) The analysts in our software company are usually more on-top of legislation changes than the legislators themselves.
You can have some real fun by writing them down – you may have hundreds of them. Get them down. (Post-it notes and a big board can be a great prop for these types of exercises.) It’s a great exercise to carry out and you’ll love your business even more after this.
3. From behaviour to value…
Once you have your list of favoured behaviours all down – its time to think of the value that person had that has caused the behaviour. This is how we get your values.
a) The staff in our accountancy firm always take the time to walk guests back to the exit in the other side of the building even though there are signs everywhere. (behaviours) = show me don’t tell me (value)
b) Our creative team always delivers to tight deadlines – always! They actually seem to revel in the challenge of a tight deadline. (behaviours) = love of a challenge (value)
c) Our IT staff are so helpful to customers that when they’re out on-call, they even fix things that aren’t theirs to fix. They just can’t help themselves. (behaviours) = going above and beyond. (value)
d) The analysts in our software company are usually more on-top of legislation changes than the legislators themselves. (behaviour) = A pro-dative approach. (values)
If you take the time, suddenly you will have a very impressive first draft.
4. Drafts 2-3-4
Now you have your list – you have to decide which ones are most important to you and how many you want? Most companies have between 5-7 values.
5. Use Them With Pride
The way you decide to use your values depends on what kind of company you are? You can use them on your website, the entrance to your office, the second page of your tender or on the introductory slide of a presentation. They do help you stand out from others and you are more likely to attract the kind of people and relationships you want into your business.
6. Live them and update them
Every company will use their values in different ways and some will take them more seriously than others. Real values-led companies hire/fire/assess staff performance all based on their values. Your values should be updated in-line with the people in the company, within the management team and your own business journey too.
We wish you well in creating your values, we hope you get something out of this post and you know where to find us if you would like some help?
Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.
‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.
He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.
His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft, a design and branding studio based in Glasgow.
He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.