The Importance of Aligning Company Values with Business Trajectory
Roy E. Disney of Walt Disney Co., once said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
Business leaders make hundreds of decisions per day. Multiply that by the dozens or even hundreds of leaders in your organization and it seems like an impossible task to coordinate and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Good news, there is a shortcut — values. These are the core pillars that tie your entire business together.
For a simple example, think about a customer service situation. There is an unhappy customer who had a sub-par experience with the brand and is complaining about it. Let’s imagine that brand is Chick-fil-a or American Express — companies dedicated to good customer service — you can picture that they would handle this customer’s complaint with grace, make the situation right, and turn that negative experience into a lifetime customer.
Imagine that same situation, but it’s a brand which does not make customer service a pillar of the brand — maybe a cable company or a rental car company. It is likely the company does not handle the situation quite the same and loses that customer forever. Why? They prioritize other values and thus don’t spend the money and effort it takes to have a great customer service arm.
This is why values are so critical to the culture and direction of a business. What your brand stands for becomes the guide rails for all of those hundreds of decisions that get made by your employees daily.
Values as Decision-Making Tools
One way to ensure an easier and more cohesive decision-making process is by using company values as the guide. These core principles act as a framework for leaders and employees to follow, making it easier to identify what options align with business trajectory.
- Prioritization — When faced with multiple options, values help rank and prioritize decisions based on their importance and relevance to the company’s overall goals. Which project should have the most urgent deadline — one about infrastructure or one about innovation? If your company has strong values around consistent quality and safety, it should be an easy answer.
- Consistency — By using values, leaders ensure consistency in decision-making throughout the organization, avoiding contradictions and keeping the team aligned. When a business has strong values, the “left hand/right hand” issue that plagues many companies isn’t a problem because you know you are all pulling the same direction even without direct communication.
- Branding — Values are important as guide rails internally, but it also becomes a key part of your external branding. If your external brand is all about kindness and being a family company, then you should have great parental leave for your own employees.
Putting Values into Action
To make the most of company values, consider the following steps:
- Identify and define core values — Start by defining a list of values that represent the beliefs and ideals of the organization. These should resonate with the vision and mission, and ultimately guide business strategies. Get your leaders together and discuss which brands they admire. Decide on what type of company you want to be, unbounded by the constraints of current budgets and current market conditions.
- Communicate and share values with the team — Clearly communicate the values to all employees, explaining the meaning and relevance within the organization. This can foster a shared understanding and create a strong company culture. Ultimately they are the ones who will put these values into everyday actions.
- Reward behavior that demonstrates your values — When an employee’s behavior is in line with your values, make sure you reward them. It will show that employee that you’ve noticed and send a message to other employees that your values are not just some words on paper. For best results, reward with cash and do it with as little time delay as possible.
- Incorporate values in decisions and action — When making decisions or implementing changes, keep the company values in mind. Evaluate if the course of action aligns with the values, ensuring they are consistently reinforced.
- Leaders are models of behavior — Your leaders are the beacons for values-driven behavior in your company. Your employees are watching how they deal with tough decisions and even small ones. Nothing hurts a company’s culture like a leader with a “do as I say, not as I do” mode of operation.
Values have a big impact on the bottom line
One often-overlooked aspect of values alignment is the impact it has on a company’s financial performance. Companies that are consistent in adhering to their core values often see positive impacts on their financial success.
According to Delloitte, “Many skeptics still believe there is an inherent trade-off between purpose and profit; values and value. We disagree, and there is significant data to back up our position.” Their research found that values-driven companies grow four times faster than average.
The benefits are not isolated to one arena. To name a few benefits, companies who live into their values see better customer loyalty, less employee turnover, higher job application value, and can weather bad PR more effectively.
At Whistle, one of our core values is that people make the difference in any organization. That’s why we built a system which allows managers to send cash rewards to their employees. This is the best, most straightforward path to show that employee who is demonstrating your values to “keep it up.”
WHISTLE, THE EMPLOYEE LOYALTY APP
There are many factors that influence employee loyalty but Whistle is the first employee loyalty app specifically designed for that purpose. By leveraging Whistle and integrating with other programs, Whistle can help companies improve both their top and bottom line.
In a recent case study, Whistle helped a manufacturing company reduce turnover by 26% in just 90 days through a redesigned onboarding program. Whistle’s employee loyalty app brought the company’s on-boarding process into the digital age and put it in every employee’s pocket. Employees raved about the mobile-first experience and cash reward system.
Companies are using Whistle to help people-managers improve relationships with their direct reports, rethinking incentives and rewards, and even changing their approach to culture – building a more inclusive workplace and helping to attract quality candidates.
Contact us for a free demo and better understand how much you can improve employee loyalty when using an employee loyalty app!