Do you shape your business around your company values? From the start, we set our own company values and they have helped us to stay focused and passionate about why we do what we do, how we do it and to grow our business organically. Here are our top 5 reasons to include your core company values in your organisation’s day to day, to help ensure you stay on track, enjoy what you do and build a long-lasting business.
1 . It gives your company a unified purpose and a strong foundation.
Knowing your values gives you a solid base from which you can make decisions that you know are right for your business and that everyone in your organisation agrees with. Knowing the purpose behind what you do can help steer things in the right direction in terms of how you work and who you do business with. The day to day work becomes inspired and the longer term decision making and goal setting becomes tangible. Being adept is one of our core values. This is important for our personal development, the development of our team members and for our business overall. It means constant learning and increasing our skills by reading, attending conferences and workshops is a priority so that we can ensure we are serving our clients well. We also work hard at teaching and empowering others to learn and upskill through delivering workshops, running our free help hubs (#ShakeItHUB), creating training for our partners, and mentoring individuals.
2. It gives you confidence and a meaningful framework for ensuring you’re working with the right people.
This means you’ll attract loyal clients and customers who share similar beliefs. It also helps you to stay on track with growing your business. Working with the right clients for your company can ensure impressive case studies and a wider reach in the right direction facilitating faster growth, trust in you and your company and a solid reputation. A great example of this is always possible. “We only work with people whose ideas we love and people we can genuinely help.” Their core values underpin the criteria they set for deciding who they work with. They also make this visible on their website. The result is that in just a few years, they have built significant relationships and collaborations with dynamic businesses and organisations in the local government, social enterprise, digital, education and arts and media (and more) sectors. They have just celebrated their 4 year anniversary.
3. It gives the individuals within your company a reason to join you and to stay with you.
The landscape in which we do business has changed and within that so too has the way we attract talent. Employees are looking for more than just a pay cheque; they want a reason to work for someone, they are looking for a common goal so they know they are contributing to something they value which will make a difference. They are taking a more active role in choosing who to work for and their reasons must not be underestimated. Listen to this podcast and what Nikki Gatenby, MD of multi-award winning search marketing company Propellernet, says about creating a brilliant place to work. They encourage their employees at the interview stage to talk about their values and their dreams and then once they are part of the company, those values and dreams become ingrained in the company’s core values, ensuring the happiness and engagement of their team. It’s no wonder that they are ranked as being one of the top 10 places to work in the UK.
4. It gives your marketing and communications a powerful message which can help differentiate you.
For one of our clients and best loved fashion designers (Meg is a customer), being kind to the planet is a core value. Designing, creating and selling affordable ethical clothing that is simple, stylish and sustainable helps them to fulfil their purpose which is “to make sustainable life easy”. Disseminating such a powerful message throughout their marketing ensures their content is consistent, always on brand and in line with why they exist. This helps to set them apart and stand out as a company who cares about the environment, ethical fashion design, and of course their customers. “The main value that forms most of my business decisions is whether or not the ‘thing’ that I am trying to decide will be kind to the planet or not. That’s where Zola Amour began and is a value that is integral to the business.” – Emily, founder of Zola Amour
5. It gives business owners and company directors the motivation and impetus to continue to do a great job and inspire others.
Although you may love what you do, that in itself may not be motivation enough, especially as your business grows and develops. If the motivation levels of the people leading the company dip, that can have a negative knock-on effect. Values are set based on what is important to you and your business and doing what is important to you and working in that way can be a huge motivator. For example, balance is one of our core values and is actually one of the reasons we set up Shake It Up Creative in the first place. It is vital for us to achieve balance in all that we do professionally as well as personally. For me, finding a good balance during my working day motivates me to excel at each task or be fully present during each activity, whether it’s composing an email, attending an event, or designing a website. On a personal level, I’m raising three cross-cultural children in a country I did not grow up in, so exploring what this means for me and my family, being able to travel, connect with and spend time with like-minded people, family and friends is important to me.
For Rachael, my co-director, balance is about achieving as many of the things that she is responsible for, as often and as well as she can. One week the scale may tip heavily towards the business, and the next, her home life may snatch that time back. Of course, her annual family holiday is a core time to push the scales back in the personal direction, ditch the schedules and try to relax. Day to day, it’s important for her to achieve presence and focus within both areas and allow for adjustable priorities. This means she’s happy and motivated because she knows she has the flexibility needed in her work schedule and for her three children. We like having balance as one of our company values because not only is it important for us and our team as individuals, it’s important for our clients to get the right balance of serious and professional with flexible and friendly so it’s a beneficial and enjoyable relationship.
Why are your company values important to you and how do they help your business grow? Let us know in the comments below.
Meg Fenn, Director of Shake It Up Creative