It’s estimated that in our lifetime we spend approximately 90,000 hours at work. Sound depressing? Well, it doesn’t have to. Not if you truly enjoy your job, get along with your co-workers and love the environment you work in.
I’ve only been a member of the gap personnel team for three weeks now, but I can safely say that it’s one of the friendliest, most welcoming environments I’ve worked in to date. Why? Enter, company values.
The team here at gap live and breathe four core principles; consultative, accountable, real and ethical. (That’s CARE for short, just in case you missed what we did there). What’s great about these values is that they’re not plastered everywhere as a marketing technique with no substance behind them. They’re real, and they shine through every aspect of the business from our passionate and approachable team members to our positive atmosphere.
With that in mind, we thought we’d use our experience to explain why cultivating strong company values is crucial to employee happiness and ultimately, workplace success.
Firstly, values sit at the heart of your business. They define who you are, who your team is and what your company stands for. Embracing and showcasing your values internally and externally will put you on the map as a company that puts its staff, and its customers, first. They'll turn your business into a reputable brand with morals, one that has personality and character, and one that’s interested in much more than making a quick buck.
Whether your company is a well-established brand, an SME, or a start-up that’s finding its feet, taking the time to discover what matters to your business is critical for its culture. Why not ask your team which workplace principles are important to them, and what they think the company stands for ethically? This will show your employees that their voice matters, that they feel included and that their opinion is respected.
Once established, your values will craft your entire workplace culture. Done well, employees will enjoy their job because they work in a healthy environment with happy co-workers. They’ll want to work hard, become more productive and take pride in what they do. They'll rise to challenges, feel like they can be themselves in the office and won’t consider leaving the business anytime soon!
Real principles will do wonders for attracting new talent to your business, too. Presuming job seekers have done their homework, they’ll be more inclined to want to work for your company because you consider the same values important.
When interviewing new staff, values will come in handy because you can use them to ask questions like ‘What is your ideal company culture?’ ‘What values matter most to you in a job?’ and ‘Which of our core values stands out most to you?’ This will help you help identify the right candidate who shares your company’s principles and fits in with your team.
If you’d like to see what we had in mind when we decided to rediscover our values, watch our vision video here.