Having company values is vital. It’s through company values that we build strong teams, deliver excellent services and keep employees motivated by having them work towards a common goal. In an age where a large portion of our workforce is made up of Millennials, who by 2025 will make up 75% of the global labour force, a company’s values and mission can even be make or break.

Unlike older generations, Millennials – and younger Gen Zs, for that matter – don’t just want a paycheck – they want meaning and purpose from their jobs. According to Deloitte, 76% of Millennials view business as a source of powerful and positive social impact. However, it’s not just about an organisation’s external impact and influence; it’s also about what happens behind closed doors. By not having a clearly articulated set of core values, a vision and purpose, companies risk compromising their ability to attract top quality talent. 

Talent attraction aside, the importance of having values for your existing workforce can’t be stressed enough. Defining your values, mission and purpose is an important employee engagement driver and makes your people feel part of a mission that is bigger than themselves. More than 50% of CEOs and CFOs said corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, the value of a firm and growth rates.

But what exactly are company values, vision, and purpose? Let’s break it down:

  • Company values describe the beliefs, philosophies and principles that drive your business and are the building blocks for your culture.
  • A company vision statement is a short statement describing the desired future position of a company.
  • A company purpose is a company’s ‘reason for being’ that sits above its values – allowing a company to define its brand and desired culture.

Agreeing on and creating these value sets is all well and good, but how do we make sure they’re lived, breathed and communicated in everything we do, rather than shelved and forgotten about, only to be dusted off and rolled out at annual team-building events? Here, we outline five considerations to help you on your way to effective value communication.

1. Introduce values in the onboarding process

First impressions matter, and it’s critical that your first impression delivers a clear message of your values, vision statement and purpose from the go-get. Everything from job descriptions, to candidate portals and interview correspondence should strongly convey a sense of your value sets – from the language used in communication to clearly spell out what your values are in job descriptions. 

Introducing values through the onboarding processes – including learning modules that new hires can complete and digest at their own pace – is a great way of introducing employees to your values before they even set foot through your doors, giving them a flavour of what’s to come. Read more about HROnboard’s onboarding here.

2. Values should never be a case of ‘set and forget’

Values and mission should underpin everything your company does – including all its communications and employer/employee touchpoints.

It’s wise to have them established as early on as in the employee experience as possible – as early as during the candidate experience – but it’s equally as important to have them reinforced at regular intervals.

Frequently referring to company values, vision and purpose in official company documentation, corporate communications and all-company meetings will help to solidify your values as a framework for best practice behaviour.

3. Facilitate regular training to remind employees of your values

It’s not realistic to expect your employees to read your values once and immediately embody them. Training designed to frequently remind employees of value, vision and purpose conveys the company’s commitment, allowing the time needed to explain where the values came from and their significance to the company.

Training videos on values can be delivered via eLearning modules, and their completion incentivised with prizes. Read more about the benefits of eLearning here.

4. Reinforce values through employee recognition programs

Recognising and rewarding values-centric behaviours is a sure-fire way to encourage employees to strive towards them. Peer-voting employee recognition programs and on-the-spot financial incentives help to get your people excited about the values and instils healthy competition.

5. Take part in community involvement events

Employees that play together, stay together! Team-building events help to boost team morale and expose team members to the culture early on and can be used to reinforce team values and desired direction. An example of this could be organising a company-wide gardening event, where employees farm a field for a day to supply food for local communities. These kinds of initiatives will work wonders for your employer brand, particularly since 53% of consumers agree every brand has a responsibility to get involved in at least one social issue that does not directly impact its business.

HROnboard, an ELMO company, offers a best-in-class software solution that reduces the amount of time HR teams and leaders spend securing the best candidates and undertaking the critical onboarding process for new hires. Our solution also helps manage internal employee role changes and can create a smooth and seamless process for exiting employees. To find out more, reach us here.

ELMO Software is a cloud-based solution that helps thousands of organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to effectively manage their people, process and pay. ELMO solutions span the entire employee lifecycle from ‘hire to retire’. They can be used together or stand-alone, and are configurable according to an organisation’s unique processes and workflows. Automate and streamline your operations to reduce costs, increase efficiency and bolster productivity. For further information, contact us.

[1] Deloitte, Global Millennial Survey, 2020

[2] Duke Fuqua, “How Corporate Culture Affects Bottom Line”, 2020

[3] Edelman Trust Barometer, In Brands We Trust? 2019

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