company values

A Guide to Showcasing Company Values: 4 New Ideas to Get Company Values Front and Center

February 20, 2019

We all talk about company values, but do we really understand what they mean? Company values, if authentic, embedded and shared properly, can be one of the hallmarks of your business. Your company values, along with your company’s purpose and mission, give your people something bigger to work towards — it helps them understand the “why” behind your company existing in the first place.

There’s no argument here — recent research shows that personal alignment with a company’s mission is important. And yet, that same research shows that less than half of employees feel fully informed about their company’s mission and values.

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Maybe you’ve got your values up on a wall. Well, that’s great, but chances are your employees have already plastered a poster over them, or have become immune to the “nice decor” in the office.

There are so many ways to showcase your values and company culture to bring them front and center, but here are four of my favorite ideas that we’ve kicked off here at Reward Gateway:

Bring your values into your Employee Welcome Packs

In my role, I’m under a lot of pressure to make an amazing first impression on our candidates, especially on a new hire’s first day. After doing some research we wanted to make sure our onboarding process had that WOW factor from the very first moment an employee come to work for us. What better way to do this than through value-based welcome packs? Here’s a look at ours, which includes eight branded items, each one that reflects a specific value at Reward Gateway, with a message attached so employees understand the meaning behind the swag.

My favorite parts of our packs are the polaroids of your team members — we have a lot of global teams, so putting a face to a name is even more important when your interactions are mostly over Slack! We also include a “pledge” tied to our mission – Make the World a Better Place to Work – that new hires sign as a commitment to our mission, and to our customers.

Make a video, featuring all your employees!

Curious what your people think of your values? Give them license to create their own interpretations! We put together a values-based video challenge tied to our all-hands global event. Across our teams, we had more than 20 different entries that showed creativity, and also led to important discussions about values that may be misunderstood. It also led to the creation of our first-ever Culture Video, featuring dozens of our employees across all nine of our offices. It serves as a lighthearted representation of our people, workspaces and values.

Put pen to paper, and create a Culture Book

One way in particular to connect your team is with a culture book. It helps boost your Employee Value Proposition because it encompasses everything that makes your company unique and stand out as an attractive place to work. Put simply, culture books keep all employees aligned to the same mission and purpose. A company can showcase its values and let its people know that organizational expectations are universal across geographies or offices.

I personally give each candidate we interview a copy of the Culture Book to take with them and read through at home (we also have a digital version to quickly send out). This not only gives them a chance to get familiar with the content, but also to help them determine if the culture is the right fit for them in the interview process. Our Culture Book defines our values one-by-one, and brings them to life with quotes from our employees on how they live our values, like this one:

We even made our Culture Books pocket-sized, so you can bring it with you wherever you go!

Make values visible in all parts of your business

Every single employee, in every department, in every office, should know your values top-to-bottom. But in many cases, it starts from the top, and that means your Leadership Team and senior managers need to lead the way in living your values, and how to bring it into other areas of your business, like employee recognition or even aligning it to larger, strategic decisions.

To help, we focus our recognition programs around our values by encouraging employees to send one another eCards centered on a particular value. Just the other day, my coworker sent one based on our value “Own It” –

We also theme our employee communications around our values and our mission to help employees understand the larger decisions that are made within the business. For example, when we’re talking about our volunteering days, we’ll focus it around our value “Be Human,” which is about understanding employees have a life outside the office walls and that empathy for others is so important.

When showcasing your company values, the best place to start is with your people. Think of your employees’ journey with your company, and how they can live and understand your values every step of the way.

Carla Sutherland
Carla Sutherland
Carla Sutherland is an HR Business Partner at Reward Gateway, an employee engagement company. She adores her two French bulldogs, Pickles and Pesto.

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