What are your company's values? How to define them? Why is it important that they are shared by all your employees?

Often underestimated, business values are the backbone that underpins sustainable growth and long-term prosperity.

Business values not only define a company's identity, but they also influence its reputation, relationships with customers, employees and communities, and its ability to adapt to market changes.

In this era of transparency and social responsibility, understanding the importance of business values has become crucial for any company that aspires to build a strong and lasting brand.

In today's article, we explore the connection between the values and the financial success of a startup, highlighting how these fundamental principles not only shape internal culture, but also directly influence the company's economic health:

Why are business values important?

In a dynamic and competitive environment, business values serve as a beacon that guides the organization in every decision and action. It's not just a list of words framed on the office wall, but rather a set of deep-seated beliefs that define the company's identity and direction. Consistency between values and daily operations not only builds a strong culture, but also translates into a direct impact on financial results.

Organizational culture, a set of shared behaviors, norms and values, acts as the soul of a company. Business values are the primary elements that shape this culture, setting the tone for daily employee interaction, decision-making and long-term strategic orientation.

In addition, business values act as an ethical filter that guides decision-making within the organization. Consistency in the application of these values provides clear direction, ensuring that decisions, from operational to strategic, are aligned with the company's fundamental principles.

Likewise, a company's mission and vision, intrinsically linked to its values, are powerful tools for attracting and retaining talent. Professionals seek companies whose values resonate with their own convictions, creating a natural alignment that not only strengthens the workforce, but also contributes to a deeper commitment to business objectives.

In short, the importance of business values is manifested in the forging of a solid organizational culture, coherent decision-making and the ability to attract and retain individuals committed to the very essence of the company.

How to define the values of a company?

The task of defining the values of a company is not a superficial exercise; rather, it is a strategic process that requires reflection, collaboration and authenticity. What are the necessary steps to carry out this exercise successfully?

  1. Identifying the fundamental principles: The essence of business values lies in the conscious identification of the fundamental principles that best represent the company's identity and aspirations. This process involves an in-depth self-evaluation, analyzing the history of the company, its successes and challenges, to extract the elements that are fundamental to its existence.
  2. Involving leaders and employees: Authenticity in the definition of values emerges when there is a genuine commitment from all levels of the organization. The active participation of leaders and employees in this process not only provides diverse perspectives, but also encourages a sense of shared ownership. Collaborative workshops, brainstorming sessions and surveys can be effective tools for engaging all members of the company.
  3. Tools and methodologies for creating authentic values: Defining authentic values requires more than catchy words; it needs a structured approach. Tools such as the Nominal Group technique, or the Delphi methodology, together with methodologies such as structured interviews and 360-degree evaluations, provide effective frameworks for authentically identifying and refining company values.

At all times, it should be kept in mind that the process of defining business values is not just a labeling exercise; it's a deep exploration that involves the entire organization, but... How to ensure that values are shared by all employees?

Ensuring that a company's values are rooted in the essence of each member of the organization is essential to maintaining a coherent and strong culture. This is possible when different strategies are followed, including:

  • Effective communication of values through internal channels. Effective internal communication is key to transmitting values in a clear and consistent manner. Robust communication channels, such as internal newsletters, regular meetings and digital platforms, must be established to disseminate company values on a regular basis. Transparency in communication reinforces understanding and commitment to values.
  • Integrating values into hiring and training processes: From the first contact with the company, values must be present. Integrating values into hiring processes ensures that new team members share core beliefs from the start. In addition, continuous training must reinforce and deepen the understanding of values, integrating them into the identity of each employee.
  • Creating incentives for the incorporation of values: The adoption of values must be rewarded and recognized. The creation of incentives that encourage the incorporation of values into daily work life reinforces the importance of these principles. Recognitions, employee recognition programs, and benefits related to adherence to values are effective tools for aligning behaviors with company expectations.

Ensuring that values are shared by all employees is not just a task, but a continuous process that requires constant attention that translates into tangible benefits that strengthen the essence of the company.

When values are shared by all members of a company, a strong and coherent company culture is established. This sense of shared identity acts like a glue that binds employees together, creating a work environment enriched by trust, respect and mutual understanding. Cultural cohesion translates into greater job satisfaction and talent retention.

In addition, coherence in values promotes a shared understanding of goals and objectives, facilitating collaboration and teamwork. Alignment in fundamental principles promotes more effective communication, collaborative problem solving, and the emergence of innovative ideas. This environment conducive to collaboration directly contributes to operational effectiveness and the achievement of exceptional results.

In addition, In the competitive startup ecosystem, reputation is an invaluable asset. Business values can influence customer perception of a company and its products or services. Companies that demonstrate coherence between their values and actions tend to build trust and loyalty among customers, which can lead to long-term relationships and positive recommendations, contributing to the company's long-term growth and sustainability. Authentic and well-communicated business values can help differentiate a company in a saturated market. Increasingly aware consumers are looking for brands that share their values and are willing to support companies that demonstrate a genuine commitment to issues important to them. In this regard, business values can also include a commitment to corporate social responsibility and positive impact on the community. Companies that prioritize sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and support for social causes can earn the respect and admiration of their stakeholders and contribute to general well-being.

In the same way, strong business values can strengthen a company's capacity to face external challenges, such as economic crises, regulatory changes or health emergencies. By being rooted in fundamental principles, employees can stay focused on the company's mission and vision even in difficult times. Business values can include adaptability and agility as fundamental principles. Companies that foster a culture of learning and continuous improvement are better equipped to adapt to market changes and respond quickly to new opportunities and challenges.

In conclusion, the benefits of sharing values are not abstract; they are manifested in a robust culture, collaborative teams and a reputation that resonates in the competitive startup world.

It's important to remember that values are not just to be stated, but to be lived. Consistency between what we say and what we do is the very essence of an authentic business culture. Therefore, it is important that companies dedicate time and effort to define, communicate and live their values in every aspect of their operation.