Core Values in Business: Why You Need Them
Many SMEs focus mostly on the technical components of the business but often forget what are the underlying competencies that not only make their companies run smoothly, but see them grow into their true potential — core values. Establishing and implementing strong core values provides many advantages to the business for both the staff and the client/customer.
In the last three weeks SiDCOR has won two major accounting awards: The ‘Best Accounting Business to Work In’ and ‘Fastest Growing’? How does SiDCOR create such a sustainable business that continues to go from strength to strength?
For starters, the business is built on a strong foundation where all staff are clear on the company’s purpose and truly live the values. Our ‘Why’ sets us apart from our competitors; and that is to change people’s lives. We focus on our clients and helping them build better businesses. We believe this will allow them to live a better life, one with balance and freedom. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning. We take a holistic approach and immerse ourselves in our clients lives to change their lives forever.
Most importantly, everything we do, how we show up each day, how we live and how we service the client are all in line with our five core values. We recognise staff that have lived the values in a significant way, and reward them for the contribution they make to our business.
We believe that staff should be supported in growing into their potential, both personally and professionally. We conduct monthly training that not only focuses on how we do things, but ‘why’ we do it. We provide frameworks for how staff show up each day, and opportunities to attend events that enrich their lives. Staff at all levels have opportunity to work with a diverse range of industry, and are not stuck behind a keyboard but are fully engaged in their client’s business.
If you want to build a better business, one that allows you freedom to grow into your potential and to engage your staff in the process, start with these five steps:
What is your business about? What is the ‘why’ behind it. People buy ‘why you do what you do’ not ‘what you do’!
If you haven’t read Start With Why by Simon Sinek then this is your first step. The ‘Why’ is the core belief of the business. It's why the business exists.
2. Commercial vision
Staff want to know where the business is going and what they are working towards. Be specific and ensure ALL staff know the owner’s vision and what they are building. Make the vision clear, specific and measurable so you know when you get there.
Once you have a vision, create a core set of values that you live and breathe by, this will ultimately ensure all teams are working in the same way (not just in the same direction)…and it all starts with the leader of the business. If they are not embracing the values and just “talk” the values then nothing will change. Having a distinctive vision and core values in play will attract and retain the right people that resonate with these values, and will exit those that are better suited elsewhere.
4. What about me, what about me?
Once you have your VISION and core set of VALUES, the next thing the staff want to know is “How do I contribute?” and “Where do I fit into the vision?” Ensure your staff have clearly defined roles and responsibilities; ensure their career path is defined and relates to the commercial vision. By commercial vision I mean specific time-framed goals that you are working towards. Link their position in the business to these goals and they will ignite.
How do you communicate in your business? Is it FEAR based or from a place of LOVE? Engagement not only refers to how staff INTERACT with their work, it is also about how effectively employees and directors communicate with each other. This will be the game changer in any business. Make your communication open and honest as staff will mirror the leaders of the business. Engage them in conversation, encourage them to be open and communicate their thoughts, help them to help the business.