Values – what are they and why do they matter?

When your purpose and core values are genuinely embedded in your organisation, every decision you and your stakeholders make will be influenced by them. They determine the culture and performance of your team, and create accountability for your team and your stakeholders.

Your values explain what you stand for and believe in. They are principles, ideals and characteristics that define the culture, standards and aspirations of the organisation.

It’s hard to be original when defining your values, but it’s best to avoid single words like ‘Passion’ or ‘Inspiring’ unless you can define them and make them specific.

In reality, no one value will be unique to your organisation. Your values ‘fingerprint’ comes from how you combine and define them.

A good way to agree your organisation’s values is to consider what you already do really well, and how you do it.

Some tips to help you clarify your values;

  • Focus on between three and five values;
  • Describe what your values mean, why it matters, and to whom:
    • “Honest -We are accountable to our communities, donors and funders. We work with integrity, transparency and efficiency. We communicate clearly and responsibly”
  • Keep it succinct and memorable;
  • Live your values, don’t just laminate them! Embed your values into every fibre of your organisation;
  • Review and refresh – as your business develops your values and culture may need to change;
  • Remember, the discussion is as important as the destination. When establishing your values involve your stakeholders, you will learn what matters to your customers, beneficiaries, funders, and employees.

Values underpin everything you do, and they matter, particularly to younger people. Recent research from LinkedIn found that 86% of millennials would take a pay cut to work at a company that holds the same values as their own.

If you want to review your brand values get in touch. We work with amazing consultants like Donna to clarify and implement your organisational brand values to ensure they’re successfully providing the foundation for your brand.

This was a guest blog from:

Donna Okell
Cheshire for Good
www.cheshireforgood.com