A company’s values define not only how it operates, but how it engages with its internal stakeholders like employees, as well as its external partners, like the community, customers, and shareholders they serve. And in today’s age where corporate responsibility ranks high among reasons for why customers patronize one business over its competition, and why employees remain loyal and look forward to coming to work, it’s more critical than ever to create and implement management values.
Although much has been written about some of the most-popular corporate values, it’s worth understanding the “why” behind the process of identifying essential values in the first place. Once established, management values should create a perpetual cycle where the corporate vision and culture gets pushed to the forefront of all interactions. Executives and managers can guide employees, customers are motivated to become advocates of the brand, and all parties help shape and improve the community as a whole.
An article by Julie Hancock articulates how a corporation’s values can also nurture the organization’s overall culture. Company culture filters down to how management buys into the corporate mission which, in turn, improves employee motivation and engagement and, ultimately, gets recognized by customers who align their own values and sense of involvement with the organization. To achieve an environment where all stakeholders – from the corporate vision down to the consumer – benefit, here are three crucial management values from UE.co, founder of the UE.co Community Scholarship, that help perpetuate the cycle described above.
A common theme among management magazines and leaders is the value of inspiring everyone who comes into contact with your company. By adopting an approach that inspires, managers, employees, and customers are motivated to drive the right behaviors that reflect the corporation’s mission and beliefs. It’s essential that organizations create an environment where front-line staff members are engaged, and open lines of communication exist with consumers all the way up to the top.
Companies that conduct themselves with integrity attract talent and consumers that behave in the same manner. Not only do employees value leaders who demonstrate this value, but consumers appreciate companies and their representatives who are honest and ethical. However, demonstrating integrity is much easier in concept form than in reality; according to a Huffington Post article, companies often believe they act integrally, but often make exceptions when lying in particular instances… which invariably leads to more significant trouble down the road. All of that to say: genuinely embracing integrity at all costs (think of VW with its emissions issues) may not come easy, but companies will be rewarded by the loyalty it garners.
By holding itself accountable to management, employees, shareholders, and customers, organizations motivate that behavior in the people with whom it interacts. Owning one’s faults and mistakes also demonstrates integrity and invites creativity when solving problems. As noted by Entrepreneur, companies, and individuals who do not value accountability may eventually “sweep things under the rug or worse.”
Wrapping it All Together Incorporating these three – inspiration, integrity, and accountability – into your corporate values will foster an environment where everyone wins. Although conceptually simple to deploy, none of these critical values are easy to put into practice as it pushes all stakeholders to think, behave, and adapt in ways that could be uncomfortable. But once implemented, these values facilitate a cycle where motivation, open communication, and advocacy prevail, and allow entire communities to benefit.