How to Define Company Values

Business values, much like personal values, influence behaviour and provide a set of rules or guidelines to follow. However, in a business context, values are often set and ignored. To avoid this, business leaders need to create values that can lead to action and align with the business’ overall mission. Learning how to define company values is a process that takes trial and error and requires a business owner to objectively evaluate their strengths, create a set of rules, and finally tie these to a company’s vision. Let’s look at these three steps in greater detail.

How to Define Company Values – A 3-Step Process

1.     Assess business strengths

Look at the ways in which your business thrives – do you have ambitious staff or loyal customers that drive your success? Understanding your business’ strengths allows you to identify the underlying values which drive current behaviour and action. Once you have a better understanding, you will be able to identify key values that your employees, customers, suppliers and community encompass, and use these values as a basis for your business.

2.     Formulate rules based on values

Once you have identified your key values, you can create rules based on these values, so staff and the public know what to expect from your business. For example, your rule might be to “continually search for answers.” This would align with a value of innovation, placing a high emphasis on building on new ideas and solutions. Rules also help to foster the right culture in your workplace, making it more enjoyable for staff and management alike.

3.     Tie values to your overall purpose

Values should be used to complement your business’ overall mission or purpose. For example, if your mission is to provide education to rural teenagers in disadvantaged areas, adopting a rule such as “continually search for answers” would be appropriate as it encourages everyone involved in the business to look for new ways to meet challenging demands and so on. Therefore, identifying values helps to align strategies, plan, and create goals that serve your business’ overall purpose.

Would you like to learn more about ‘how to define company values’ that help serve your business’ overall purpose? Get in touch with us at Taggart & Partners for advice from our experienced business advisory team to take your business to new heights today.

Updated 17 May 2020

*** This publication is for guidance only, and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publishers nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this publication. Publication date April 2018

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