In its purest form, values are the fundamental truths of an organization, the guiding beliefs that delegate how a person should behave and act. Values are the defenders of your ideals and they help us determine what’s important in life.
A set of business values helps your customers see what it is that your company believes in and what motivates you to work. Once your values have been determined, it will be clear to see if you and your company are on the right path to fulfill your goals.
While there are a variety of values that you can consider, here are four that we think are absolutely critical in order to succeed professionally.
- Transparency: Studies show that only 49% of employees trust their senior management. Much of that is attributed to management that is not open and honest with their staff. Employees have a right to know about decisions that will have an impact on their well-being, livelihoods, or work environment, so be sure to share with them anything that affects them directly. You may think you don’t need to tell the staff that John Smith was let go, but when emails to him bounce back and no one sees him for a week, rumors start to fly and morale takes a hit. Obviously you don’t need to disclose any details, but keeping your employees informed will create a sense of unity and prevent the feeling of being kept in the dark.
- Adaptability: The business world isn’t one-size-fits-all, so in order to be successful, an organization needs to be able to adapt to the environment and the ever-changing needs of its customers. Those who are able to roll with the tide and change as they move along will find much more success than those who are unaccepting of change, or who expend unnecessary effort fighting change. The amount of effort one business puts into staying rigid and battling the waves, another will use to learn how to ride that wave to prosperity. Be the latter one.
- Accountability: No one has the time or energy to play the blame game, meaning accountability is crucial. Being able to account for your activities and accept responsibility for them is part of what makes a company respectable. In addition, you’ll be able to see real results for how your business is performing. Daily tasks to large projects will run much smoother when each player is acting responsibly and can clean up any mistakes without a fuss. Too much precious energy is wasted pointing fingers and attempting to avoid embarrassment over a mistake when that same amount of energy could be used to rectify the situation.
- Empathy: This is one of the most important values that an organization needs to hold dear. Being able to understand the challenges that your customers and even your employees face on a regular basis will make it easier for you to cater to their needs. The most successful companies have happy employees who feel like their needs are being taken care of and customers who feel heard. Genuinely caring about the people who run your company makes a huge difference.