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Creating A Winning Work Culture With Core Values

19 min read

A few questions for all the new startup founders, “Are your mission statement, vision, and core values the crux of your day-to-day activities?” “Are these the foundational drivers behind your brand image in the marketplace? Or are they just trivial words in your ‘About Us’ page?” 

If these questions boggle your mind, a simple test might help you answer them. For this, ask yourself, “Are your employees excited to come to work every day? Is your LinkedIn box filled with requests from talented people who want to be a part of your organization?” 

If your answer is a confident YES, then you have developed the elixir to blend your mission, vision, and core values and cultivate an incredible workplace culture. 

But suppose your answer is a feeble Yes or a NO. In that case, you may need to expand your knowledge base and understand the real meaning behind your mission statement, your vision statement, and the core values you follow. 

While they may seem like simple words and sentences, they often are the driving forces behind transitioning your company from ‘Good’ to ‘Great’. 

 

What To Frame First – Mission, Vision, Or Value Statement? 

3 pillar of Culture are Mission, Vision and Core Values

 

Mission Statement

Defines the reason behind the existence of an organization. It paints a picture of what a company is and what it does for all the internal and external stakeholders. 

Vision Statement

Describes the future of the organization. It states what the firm aspires to achieve in the long term. It guides the long-term planning framework. 

Values Statement

Sheds light on an organization’s core principles and philosophical ideals. It should be easy to remember, actionable, and timeless.  

Thus, mission voices the organization’s purpose, vision reflects your future aspirations while your values guide your process to reach them.  

While most already know their definitions, they often need clarification on which to frame first. So, to make it easier, you must first define your mission to drive the purpose behind your business. Then craft your vision statement as it acts as a guide for your future endeavors. Lastly, determine the core values which give you the direction to reach your goal. 

 

Are Core Values Puzzling You? 

Values are the principles that drive the organization. They also help teams collaborate better and work together. This makes it easier for companies to build a distinctive brand identity and stand out in the marketplace. 

They can be classified under the following heads,  

Core Values are distinctive to a company’s actions and act as the guiding principle. They should not be compromised for short-term gains. They help maintain the distinct image of organizations. For instance, a company with leadership as its core value has team leaders who constantly instill courage among their teammates and ensure they always perform their best. 

Aspirational Values are the ones that a company needs to develop to achieve its future endeavors. They are delicate to frame as they might clash with the core values. For example, a company has hard work and dedication as its core value. Later, the leaders felt work-life balance as one of their aspirational values. But here, we see a clash between the core and aspirational values, as making work-life balance a part clash with irregular working hours, so frame them delicately.

Permission-to-play Values are the minimum behavior and social traits a company wishes the employees to have. They are standard across the industry and not a distinct value to every individual firm. For example, honesty is a type of value prevalent across every industry. Every firm specifies that they wish to hire candidates who don’t lie in their resumes. Still, they take no additional steps to ensure it is strictly followed.

Accidental Values are the common interests and personalities reflected by the workforce and slowly get assimilated into the organization. For instance, an organization whose initial force comprises sports enthusiasts has made teamwork one of its values. This value was not a part of the initial values but later became a part when its workforce followed it. 

4 Core Values to know

You should be able to easily distinguish between the three types of values discussed above and keep your organization’s purpose and future aspirations in mind while defining the values of each of the categories. 

 

Why Most Of The Founders Find It Challenging To Build Great Workplace Culture? 

The word ‘culture’ is the most frequently used phrase in top-decision-makers’ meetings. Most founders use it without being aware of its value. 

The shared values, goals, practices, working environment, and employee behavior can help build company culture. It’s how people feel about their work, the values they follow, their aspirations about the company etc.  

Harvard Business Review states that company culture also includes how employees interact with each other and how they react to changes in the everyday work environment. 

There are four main types of organizational culture,  

Clan (Collaborative) Culture promotes a highly collaborative work environment where everyone is valued and communication is the priority. These companies find it easier to embrace change and are action-oriented. They are common in startups and smaller companies.

Adhocracy Culture promotes a risk-taking attitude and is known for being innovative and adaptable. They value individuality in their employees and encourage creative ideas. This culture finds its place in the constantly changing tech industry.

Market Culture focuses on profitability and is prevalent in result-oriented organizations. They give more value to external success and prioritize meeting the company’s larger goals. It is common among large organizations that are typically their industries’ leaders.

Hierarchy Culture sticks to the traditional organizational structure. They have a well-defined chain of command and a rigid dress code that the employees must follow. It’s most common among fast food restaurants and companies laser-focused on day-to-day operations. 

4 Core Culture

The main reason it’s hard to build a great work culture is the need for more awareness about the correct definition of culture and its types. Unfortunately, most founders fail to understand that to promote a happy and productive organizational culture; you first need to understand the different types and then adopt the one that fits the industry type and your core principles. 

Why Company Culture And Core Values Are Important? 

According to a report, companies promoting an engaging culture account for a 20 to 25 percent increase in employee productivity. 

One-third of the employees support the statement that the mission and purpose of my organization make me feel my job is essential. In addition, business units have seen a sharp decline in absenteeism by 51% and a 29% improvement in work quality. 

46% of job seekers agree that company culture plays a significant role when hunting for potential employers. 

Thus, core values and company culture are essential in building a company’s brand image. It helps in the following ways, 

Effortless recruitment process 

Most organizations now place culturally fit candidates above experienced ones. This is because they believe those who effortlessly fit in their team will be mentally satisfied and motivated to produce good results constantly. 

Superior onboarding process 

If organizations are clear about their values, it would be easier to communicate the same to recruits. They thus find it easier to become a part of the organization’s culture right from the first day. 

Increased productivity 

Employees who are content at the workplace take ten times fewer sick days, which means fewer lost hours. In addition, satisfied employees are motivated to be more hardworking and productive. 

Definite Goals 

When all the employees are clear about the company’s goals and the path they follow to achieve them, it makes it easier for everyone to work towards the goal. It also leads to a better decision-making strategy. 

Increase in Work Bliss 

A company culture that makes employees feel comfortable leads to a place where employees are excited to do well for themselves and the entire organization. Encouraging a happy workplace also helps in reducing stress and leads to a healthier lifestyle. 

Is There An Easy Way To Align Your Core Values With Your Culture? 

How do you make employees excited about their everyday work? 

Most might feel it’s the perks like free coupons, flexible work hours and many such things. But it might be wrong. Employees are excited to come to a workplace where they understand their work’s impact on society. And the only way to ensure this is by effectively aligning your core values with the work culture you promote. 

The best practices to help you integrate core values and workplace culture: 

Define your values realistically 

Choosing certain good-sounding words to define your values is not the right way. Instead, evaluate your high performers and look for the common traits that they possess and make them a part of your core values. 

Make values a part of the hiring process 

Stop following the notion of hiring “culturally fit” candidates. Instead, frame the interview questions to make your core values a criterion for hiring suitable candidates. 

Ensure the values are also a part of the onboarding process 

Train your new employees about your values from day one. Use examples of employees and how these values can be used in daily interactions. It would help new employees quickly adapt to them. 

Incorporate values in employee programs 

Encourage team-building activities and employee development programs that uphold the company’s core values. Make the employee development process simple by tying them with your core values. 

Highlight employee feedback 

Focus on adopting a process that allows you to receive honest and anonymous employee feedback. Use metrics to measure employee engagement and satisfaction scores. These scores help track the needs and problems faced, which would ultimately help in improvement. 

The Process of Values with Culture

Additional Tactics To Make Fusing Values And Culture Easier 

If integrating the core values with a productive work culture still poses a problem, these few tips might make it easier: 

Evaluate Company Values 

In the ever-changing era, the companies that attract the best talent are the ones that effectively communicate their core values to employees. Therefore, companies must constantly evaluate core values to redefine their purpose to suit the dynamic market. 

Employee satisfaction is always at the forefront 

Employees are the essential tools to combine core values and company culture effectively. At the same time, motivation and satisfaction are the two critical factors that drive employees. So, encourage transparent two-way communication channels. It would help employees voice their concerns, and you can be well-equipped to bring changes to the system. 

Recognize and Reward Employees 

Rewarding employees’ efforts cultivate a positive work culture, helps employees discover the appreciated traits and keeps them connected to the company’s goals and values. In addition, this aids in visualizing their role in the company’s success. 

Build an Inclusive Environment 

A work environment that welcomes employees from various backgrounds is appreciated. It also attracts and retains diverse talent and promotes a healthy work culture. 

These will make promoting a workplace culture fused with organizational values a cakewalk. 

Suppose you still need to be convinced about its significance. In that case, a few instances of organizations are given that made it huge in the market owing to their well-defined core values and fantastic culture. 

Companies Who Made It Possible In The Real World 

Core values shape culture and affect organizations’ approach to framing their goals and defining the roadmap to reach them. They also help in understanding the vision and mission of firms.  

But they vary across multiple organizations as no two firms have similar-looking core values. And to assist you in the process of defining your core values and building a great culture out of it, here are examples of a few great companies that made it a reality, 

Google 

Google, the tech giant, is a market leader. Their products are innovative and loved by the masses. The secret to their success is terrific employee engagement that complements their core values. 

One of their core values says, “You can be serious without a suit.” Of course, such a complex organization needs serious work, but they promote an open culture with a fashionable corporate workplace. It thus boosts employee morale and keeps them happy. 

Tata Group 

The primary purpose of Tata Group is to improve the quality of life among various communities. They strongly believe in returning to society, which helps them maintain trust among their internal and external stakeholders.  

Their mission perfectly complements their five core values: Excellence, Integrity, Understanding, Responsibility, and Unity. So, they built a distinctive brand image of solid business ethics and values in the market. 

Mahindra 

Mahindra has been one of the pioneers of innovative use of resources that drive a positive change in the lives of their stakeholders. Their purpose to build a sustainable future rest on their five core values: Good corporate citizenship, Customer first, Quality focus, and Dignity of the individual. 

These values perfectly resonate with their work culture; thus, they enjoy the trust and support of the consumers and communities they serve. 

Amazon 

The e-commerce giant provides an online platform allowing vendors and sellers to meet virtually without geographical restrictions. One of the main factors that helped them be market leaders was the ease with which they aligned their core values with their work culture. 

Amazon is known for providing the best customer experience and resolving customer queries. It was made possible by making Customer obsession and Delivering the Highest Standards a part of their core values and effectively communicating it among their employees. 

Spotify 

Spotify is a platform known for providing unlimited music with a seamless experience. They gained global popularity due to their commitment to core values. 

For example, one of their core values is collaboration, so they collaborate with varied sets of musical artists. It leads to building a music platform celebrating diverse cultures and thus making it one of the most popular music streaming platforms. 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, culture and core values are the foundation behind a successful organization. So, align your core values with culture to build a positive workplace environment. A positive workplace culture helps attract and retain top talent while creating an engaging work atmosphere. If you are finding it challenging to frame an efficient organizational culture, go through this blog to get an answer to all your doubts.  

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    Meet the author

    Anwesha Panja

    Content Writer

    Anwesha Panja is a Content Writer at Keka Technologies. She has a passion for crafting captivating pieces around the latest HR trends. With a love for mysterious and spine-tingling things, she spends her free time exploring haunted locations. She is also a bookworm and an avid Sherlock fan.

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