What Is a Value-Based Culture and How to Build One
As an HR manager, you know how important it is to uphold your company’s values and ethics. Positive company culture helps employees maintain focus, be more productive and engage with your business’s goals — research shows that company culture directly impacts employees’ productivity and wellbeing. A strong company culture can also foster many other aspects of a successful business, such as collaboration, communication, empowerment and customer satisfaction.
If your organization is looking to build or strengthen your existing company culture, it’s essential to reflect on your fundamental values. Your company values are more than just words on a poster in your office — they’re the foundation of your business.
What Is a Value-Based Culture?
An organization’s values are its core identity, principles and beliefs. Those values build its foundation, support its vision, shape its culture and reflect what it holds most important. In a value-based culture, a company or organization prioritizes internal values over profit margins to develop a positive impact. By holding its values in high regard, a value-based organization (VBO) can drive performance levels, reduce employee turnover, improve customer service and support sustainability.
VBOs have a culture of shared values among all leaders and employees. While managers in a more traditional structure may employ a more rigid, machine-like approach, VBOs inspire a sense of community among all employees. and encourage management to set an example of the company’s values with every decision they make. For example, if an organization values innovation, managers should encourage employees to find new methods to improve existing processes.
In a value-driven culture, employees’ personal values align with the organization’s values to establish a motivated and unified workforce. Increased productivity and employee commitment let VBOs remain more stable and agile over time.
Why Is Values-Based Culture Important?
Organizational values can help create a roadmap to achieving your organization’s long-term goals. Here are the top benefits you can expect when implementing this strategy:
- Increased productivity: Feeling more connected to your organization’s purpose and mission improves employee morale, making them more enthusiastic about their work and input to the company’s success.
- Empowered employees: Increased morale makes employees more confident in their roles. Value-driven leadership also sets an example for employees, motivating them to handle strategic challenges in more creative, innovative and responsive ways.
- Enhanced working relationships: Having common values leads to better communication and understanding, which makes for more effective professional relationships. Similar values help teams form stronger bonds and engage in more meaningful interactions that drive your business forward.
- Improved customer satisfaction: As employee satisfaction increases with a supportive value-based culture, it will show in interactions with customers and lead to greater customer satisfaction.
- Impressed stakeholders: A VBO leads to better performance management, increased efficiency and personal accountability, all of which are important to external partners. Company growth due to a value-driven culture increases trust among all stakeholders, current staff and potential employees.
How to Create a Value-Based Culture
Now you know how important it is to have a company culture that thrives on shared values — so, how can you implement your own? Here are five ways you can begin to establish a VBO in your workplace.
1. Reflect on Existing Values
The first step in transforming your organization is revisiting your current processes and values. You’ll need to consider what past values you’ve upheld and the ways you did so, especially those that weren’t successful or engaging for employees. Reflecting on your current company values, goal or mission statement can help you see how far you’ve come as a team and identify areas of strength.
Start by turning personal values into shared values with a survey or discussion among your employees. Discuss what’s important to them and what they think your company values should be. Collective input is an effective way to get everyone brainstorming, collaborating and participating in the process. Crafting new values together as a team can help you make more logical and unified decisions that garner positive results in the future.
2. Bring Your Values to Life
If you want your values to have meaning, you need to embody them on a daily basis. While having a well-articulated mission and a vision statement with clear values is crucial, it’s equally important to back up those words with action and behavior.
For example, an organization that values communication should:
- Hold regular meetings.
- Discuss company news.
- Share updates.
- Involve the entire team in every step of the process.
Talk openly about how each of your company values influences important decisions. Ask questions like, “How well are we demonstrating our core values with this action?” Recognizing and rewarding behavior that matches your organizational values can also help employees embody them every day.
3. Encourage Accountability and Transparency
Valuing personal responsibility and autonomy in the workplace can help eliminate a blame culture and create a VBO. It doesn’t help if employees start pointing fingers when a task isn’t completed or a team fails to meet a deadline. Nurturing accountability and transparency can also create more trust within your workplace, encourage employees to ask for help and promote honesty.
As a result, you may see your employees grow in confidence and develop a stronger connection to your leadership team. As with upholding other values, it’s essential to recognize and show your appreciation for employees who work hard and align their efforts with organizational values.
4. Nurture Open Communication
Open lines of communication are one of the key pillars of success in any organization. Strong internal and external communication is a critical component of effective leadership.
Open communication can lead to better clarity, efficiency and results. Unclear communication from leadership often leads to employees with low job satisfaction and higher feelings of burnout. On the other hand, better communication and a sense of purpose make employees more likely to stay with your company.
An open and honest working environment can help build empathy and understanding in administrative leaders, empowering employees to collaborate and participate. You can help foster this communication by considering decision-making a team task and involving all employees in actions that affect the big picture. Be open to feedback from employees so you can adjust and improve accordingly.
5. Coach Team Leaders
Innovation and change start from the top down. By applying your organization’s values in their daily efforts, team leaders and administrators can encourage the rest of your employees to follow. Speak with your leaders and motivate them to consistently operate with your core values in mind. At the end of the day, it’s actions that matter, so it’s essential to lead by example if you want to drive collaboration and more effectively address challenges as a team.
Cultivate a Value-Based Culture With Exude Human Capital
It’s never too late to build a value-based organizational culture. Developing a core set of values and priorities as a roadmap to success can help you remain competitive, improve productivity and increase resiliency. Your positive culture will boost more than morale — it will empower you and your employees to focus on your most important initiatives and engage with your work like never before.
At Exude, it’s our mission to support yours. We take a unique integrated approach to help organizations restructure their most critical areas. Our team can help you reshape those areas to establish a value-based culture, improve employee satisfaction and retention and drive greater results.
Get in touch with our consultants today to learn more about how our solutions can bring value to your organization.