Values are the principles on which we set our choices. They are the decision scale on which we decide how to behave and how to achieve our goals. They allow us to identify not only the objectives, but also the means we need to achieve them.
“Value” is a term that belongs, like its origin, to the economic language and has subsequently been adapted to ethical uses. In the ethical definition, therefore, values are the ideals we believe in and the foundations of our life. We base our existence on them, set priorities and make decisions, letting them reflect part of us in the environment around us.
After talking about the Vision (what we see) and the Mission (who we want to be), now let’s talk about the Values. They are useful to explain how to achieve the goals and our identity. Values, in fact, can belong not only to individuals but also to businesses. In companies, they are the basis of the work and are highlighted in the operating methods and in the relevant behaviors that constitute the basic principles and choices of the individual companies.
For an organization, a value is something its members believe in. It is a philosophy that is really important for anyone who works inside the company: the belief or attitude that reflects what is or is not appropriate to pursue.
If the team doesn’t share the value system, the choices can be inconsistent. As a result, the company will get lower results. But even if there are only good values, they could still get in conflict one with another!
Through a deep internal path that allows you to hierarchize them. By creating and following it, it is possible to make the right choices. Also, it is important to give different priorities to our time which, as everyone knows, is worth gold.
All business realities, whether they are aware of it or not, have values.
Often, among the most frequent values that we encounter in companies, we find:
In a company, principles have the power to reinforce the level of integration of the people who work inside and to create a bond of trust with the external environment. Every company has its own philosophy and culture. Also, it has its system of ethics which constitute the characteristics of its identity. The measurement of them allows to determine the level of coherence in reference with the inner and outer environment.
Because defining corporate values characterizes both the way of living and working. Not only, values are much more: they represent a continuous indication in decision-making processes. If we want to make a similarity, they’re just like a lighthouse at sea that shows to the ships the right way to follow.
Knowing how we want to set up the biggest part of our decision-making process can simplify our lives. We just have to ask ourselves the important questions first. However, as important as asking the right questions first, it is also impossible to foresee any kind of situation. It is in this case that the Values come into play, establishing what’s the most important thing to do. Apparently, things are never just white or black, but it is important to give at least some indications through which people manage to find their way without having to wait the indications from above.
Moreover, they also help linking the individual’s professional growth to the evaluation performance process. People can plan all the changing processes, create cohesive and productive working teams and manage relational dynamics in a better way.
Working and making the values alive in an organization favors a climate of collaboration and cooperation inside and outside the company, thanks also and above all to listening.
Once the values are identified, you will need to communicate them to your team in the best possible way. A constant indication is not only fundamental for all those occasions when we do not know how to find the answers, but also helps to focus on a precise path, reducing the risk of energy and time dispersion.
Especially in an era like the one we are living in, characterized by hyper-competition, with very fierce competitors, companies cannot help but have close-knit working groups to meet the needs of a constantly changing market. Teams must be able to overcome differences by finding common meeting points and goals.
As in team sports, the result in the company can only be achieved by working together, in a team logic.
To spread precise Values, each company must have a unique and representative image. Corporate identity is important as it allows the public to recognize and remember a company in a simpler and clearer way. This recognition can independently transmit the values of the company. Furthermore, the image that a company creates must try to differentiate itself as much as possible from its competitors.
To have a clear identity, you need to make choices that can be short, medium or long term.
For example, if we are hiring, we can decide who is right for us. We can look for someone who immediately brings us the experience, a professional figure. Or we may want or support a person who has been in the organization for a long time and thus offer them a permanent job. Otherwise, we can choose a trainee, in order to pay the minimum for those who offer us the maximum in the shortest possible time. In each of these cases, we would still need help.
Depending on whether we want to build a team, a brand or a story, there will be different implications. Starting from the dream of identity that we have, we have to understand how to choose.
Our choices may be different from those of our employees. For instance, if we don’t share the same value system, we may have problems. In addition, values can often conflict with each other.
It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.
It could happen, for example, that we choose that our company must be intimate and transparent at the same time. There is no more correct value than the other, the important thing is that there is alignment and consistency between the team members.
The same goes for innovation and tradition. With the opening and globalization of markets and with the development of technology we are continually subjected to new challenges, we must have in mind how to face them by ensuring that people are not in paradoxical situations in which they will not know how to behave.
Briefly, if you want to define your company’s Values, you have to answer to these questions:
For a winning corporate identity, therefore, we need three main elements: