Company Values

Introduction to Company Values

Company values are the fundamental beliefs and guiding principles that shape an organisation’s culture and direction. For Australian businesses, these values are crucial in fostering a productive work environment, enhancing employee engagement, and driving overall business success. 

For human resources (HR) professionals, understanding and implementing strong company values can lead to higher staff morale and improved retention rates. By prioritising company values, businesses can ensure that their teams are aligned, motivated, and working towards overarching organisation goals.

Common Core Values

Businesses often emphasise values that resonate with both their mission and their employees’ expectations. These values are integral to shaping the behaviour and decision-making within the workplace. Here are some key core values that many Australian businesses prioritise;

Integrity: Integrity ensures honesty and transparency, building trust between employees, customers, and stakeholders. Companies that emphasise integrity are seen as reliable and trustworthy, which is essential for long-term success.

Respect: Valuing diverse perspectives and fostering an inclusive workplace works towards employee satisfaction. Respect in the workplace means acknowledging and appreciating differences in backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints. This creates a harmonious and collaborative environment where all employees feel heard.

Innovation: Encouraging creativity and embracing new ideas is a crucial aspect of maintaining a competitive edge. Companies with a culture of innovation are better equipped to adapt to economic and demand changes, driving growth through new and improved products, services, and processes.

Customer Focus: A customer-focused approach ensures that the business is aligned with the needs and expectations of its clients, leading to customer loyalty and word-of-mouth business growth.

Teamwork: Promoting collaboration and sharing knowledge ensures an organisation operates smoothly. By creating a collaborative environment, companies can enhance productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction. 

Sustainability: Australians are becoming increasingly aware of a company’s commitment to the environment and their community. By prioritising sustainability, businesses can reduce their environmental impact, meet regulatory requirements, and appeal to eco-conscious stakeholders.

These core values help shape the company culture and provide a clear framework for decision-making, recruiting and behaviour within the organisation. 

Developing Company Values

Developing company values requires reflection on the unique mission, vision, and desired culture of the organisation. For HR professionals in Australia, this process is crucial for ensuring that the company values are effectively integrated into the workplace.

The first step of establishing company values is to engage employees, management, and other key stakeholders in the development process. Conducting surveys, focus groups, and workshops to gather input ensures that the values reflect the collective ethos of the organisation. 

Based on this feedback, HR can define core values that align with the company’s mission and vision. These values should be clear, concise, and actionable, providing a broad guide for behaviour. It’s essential that the values align with the long-term goals and strategic objectives of the company.

Clear communication of these values is vital for implementation. Once company values have been established, draft compelling statements for each value to explain what they mean and why they are important. Use language that is easily understandable and relatable for all employees.

Now you can begin to integrate the values into company policies, procedures, and practices. This includes performance reviews, hiring practices, training programs, and day-to-day operations. Leadership endorsement is another critical component of implementing company values. When management and executives actively demonstrate these values, it sets a strong example for the entire organisation. 

Finally, it’s important to regularly review your company values to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with the company’s evolving goals.

By carefully developing company values through an inclusive and strategic process, businesses can create a strong foundation for their organisational culture. HR professionals play a crucial role in facilitating this process, ensuring that the values are deeply embedded in the company’s ethos. 

Communicating Company Values

Effective communication of company values is essential to ensure that they are understood, embraced, and upheld. HR professionals should leverage various communication channels like company newsletters, team meetings, and workshops to convey the importance of upholding company values. 

Storytelling can also be a powerful tool in communicating new company values. Sharing examples that illustrate how employees have demonstrated the values in action is relatable and inspiring, encouraging others to embody them as well. HR can also implement values-based training programs in employee onboarding and ongoing development initiatives to provide learning opportunities. 

A key strategy for reinforcing desired company behaviours is the implementation of rewards and public recognition for values-based behaviours. Visual cues such as posters, banners, and digital displays within the workplace also reinforce key values and are easy to execute.

Establishing transparent and two-way feedback mechanisms, such as employee surveys or open forums, can also help gauge understanding and alignment with the company’s values.

Living your Company Values

“Living” the company values involves integrating them into everyday actions, decisions, and interactions within the workplace. Here are key strategies for ensuring that employees live the company values:

Lead by Example: 

When leaders embody the values, it sets a powerful tone for the rest of the organisation to follow.

Performance Management: 

Integrate values into performance management processes, including goal-setting, evaluations, and recognition programs.

Promote Accountability: 

Clearly communicate expectations and address any deviations through coaching, corrective actions, or disciplinary measures when necessary.

Encourage Transparency: 

Foster an environment of open communication where employees feel comfortable discussing values-related topics, sharing feedback, and raising concerns.

Embed Values in Decision-Making: 

Encourage employees to consider the company’s values when making decisions, whether big or small. Provide guidance and support to help employees align their choices.

Recognise Contributions: 

Acknowledge and celebrate employees who consistently exemplify the company’s values in their work.

Provide Continuous Learning: 

Offer ongoing learning opportunities that reinforce the importance of the company’s values and help employees understand how to apply them effectively in their roles.

Promote Collaboration: 

Foster a culture where employees support each other, share knowledge and skills, and work together towards common goals guided by company values.

By implementing these strategies, HR professionals can create a cohesive and values-driven organisational culture that contributes to employee engagement, productivity, and overall success.

Company Values in Summary

In summary, company values form the foundation of organisational culture and guide the behaviour, decisions, and interactions of employees within the workplace. For HR professionals, cultivating a values-driven culture is essential for fostering employee engagement and overall business success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Company values are fundamental beliefs and guiding principles that shape the culture, behaviour, and decision-making of an organisation.
Company values are important because they define the organisation’s identity, guide employee behaviour and align a workforce towards common goals.
Company values are developed through an inclusive process that involves engaging stakeholders, defining values that align with the company’s mission and vision, and integrating them into organisational policies and practices.
Company values can be communicated effectively through clear and consistent messaging via various channels such as newsletters, training programs, leadership endorsement, storytelling, visual cues, feedback mechanisms, and recognition.