If you asked employees–what are our company’s distinctive values–how would they respond? Would they share a similar view of what’s unique and distinctive about your organization? In successful companies, employees know and live by the distinctive values that are core to it. These values are guiding principles that connect employees and build a sense of family. The values are a source of pride, and the shared practice of these values produces a distinctive workplace and customer experience that sets your company apart from others.
Many companies have clearly defined guiding principles that most employees share. Typically, they have a leader who understands how to build a community of workers who are bound by a shared Philosophy.
Zappos is one example of such a company. The CEO of Zappos–Tony Hsieh–is known for sharing with everyone, employees and the public, the company’s core values. If you look on their website, the Zappos Family Core Values are listed with a video explaining what they are and why they’re important. These descriptions by real employees give a clear picture of what’s valued in this company. Employees describe the core values as the foundation of their culture. The values capture what employees feel make the culture special. Employees are selected because they understand the core values and want to embrace them and practice them. The company even has little pictures to capture each core value.
Frog images of each of their values are terrific ways to communicate what’s important at this company.
Additionally, Tony, the founder and CEO, also wrote the best-selling book Delivering Happiness to share his founding principles and values that are central to the culture.
Take your company values seriously. Hire for them, live by them, and be sure the world gets it, too. Be known for what makes your company special. Be clear on what makes your company distinctive. It all begins with having a shared Philosophy that all employees understand and want to live by. Define your core values and make them a part of every aspect of your company.