3 Ways a Value-Based Corporate Culture Makes You Money
By: Kathleen Ries-Jubenville | Read time: 4 minutes
Do you feel like growing your business has gotten somewhat out of control? Are your employees unable or unwilling to make decisions without your input? Do you want your business to continue to expand, but you feel like you can't manage more?
It's time to document and communicate the core company values of your corporate culture to your team!
What you are experiencing is not unusual...
In the first few years of a developing business, the owner is directly involved in everything, so the owner's personality IS the corporate culture.
As the company grows, employees and layers of management are added, so the values of the business owner and culture of the business get lost in translation. The owner becomes inundated with every question and can't keep up. Then they become frustrated with business decisions made by others he/she/they would not have handled the same way. The staff becomes frustrated because decisions are not getting made in a timely manner, but when they take things into their own hands, they get into trouble.
If this isn't addressed, the business owner burns out and disengages. This is felt first by the staff, then by the customers. The company is at risk of falling apart in the chaos caused by a lack of direction and may eventually close.
The good news is that this can be fixed at any point in the company's development! And once it is corrected, the business is setup for improved teamwork and more profitable expansion.
So, what does it mean to have a value-based corporate culture?
Corporate culture is the shared experience of the employees within the organization and how that is represented to the people interacting with those employees.
Company values, also known as core values, are the fundamental beliefs that drive business communication and the decision-making processes. They are the foundation for the corporate culture. The most rewarding and successful company values are based on a code of ethics and high standards of performance.
If the business owner does not explicitly define the core values, they will implicitly evolve over time based on the personalities of those hired into the company. Each employee will communicate with customers and co-workers and make decisions based on their own values. It doesn't mean their values are bad or wrong, but they might not align with the owner's values - the way the owner would have handled the situation.
An example is when a customer calls in with a complaint about a product. Would the owner want the service representative to say that all sales are final or would they want them to offer a full refund or an exchange/replacement? The employee might think in good faith that it's better for the company to keep the money and tell the customer they're out of luck. Or, the employee might think the customer is always right and immediately give a full refund without exploring any other options to keep the customer happy. Employees need - and want - guidance. Most employees want to do a good job and a value-based corporate culture empowers them to succeed!
You may be asking now: "How does a value-based corporate culture make me money?"
1. BETTER TEAMWORK You will hire people more likely to align with your values and support your company's vision. They will be empowered to make better decisions and require less supervision. Your staff will have a common language and shared approach and will work together more smoothly as a team. Your employees will have clear performance expectations and it will be easier for you to document issues, inspire improvement, or let them go. You will have less employee turnover and more company cheerleaders!
2. LOWER COSTS Your core values should not be just stated, they should be practiced. This means your policies and procedures will reflect your clear standards for performance. This documentation and the stories you share with outside parties will result in lower costs and reduced risks. For example, when you are discussing workers' compensation coverage with your insurance broker, the core values you have implemented into daily safety processes can make a big difference in your ex-mod and in your rate negotiations. You also mitigate or eliminate future unnecessary costs that have actually bankrupted many companies, such as reducing legal liabilities when you value compliance with human resource (HR) laws. And you lower your risk of tax penalties and interest when you value ethical money management.
3. MORE INCOME A strong set of communicated values creates a positive reputation in your industry and with your clients. And when your customers experience your corporate culture in every interaction, it builds trust and respect. This gives you a competitive edge in the marketplace, allows you to charge higher prices, and increases customer retention and repeat business.
**Documenting and communicating the core company values of your corporate culture to your team are essential to profitably scaling your business!**
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