Profit Your Bottom Line With Core Values And Employee Retention
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When it comes to retaining the best employees, there is no question that the core values of a company play a significant role. Core values are like a moral compass in your brand. They act as a set of guidelines that defines the values your brand will live by and how they are applied in the day-to-day operations. By instilling corporate values in your company culture and truly living them out to your customers, you will create an emotionally satisfying brand experience for both current staff members and your audience. Not only can this help bolster employee retention efforts, but it also has a direct impact on the bottom line.
Keep reading this article for more information about why your company’s culture matters in your brand just as much (if not more) than money alone.
Core Values Are Brand Behavior
Core values are the same as brand values. They are the moral set of principles or guidelines that define the ethics of a company, decisions, and actions of a brand in its day-to-day operations.
Just like us, we each have our own values that shape the way we behave, who we spend our time with, and how we act around others. Values are the principles that we live by and they form our character as people, making us—individual.
These principles will draw people near or far away from us depending on whether or not these principles are aligned. If we have a certain way of behaving or doing every day, then those principles become part of our character and who we are as individuals whether we like it or not.
Since brands are like humans, they interact with consumers and become more intimate in conversation around behavior, therefore, being more personable. The way brands behave takes on an ethical role especially since they drive the mission for consumers in decision-making action. It’s the values that carry on a big-factor of that decision-making process since it would be the experience they’ve had interacting with the brand values.
“Core Values = An enduring set of principles that defines the ethics of a company.”
The brand values are the most sacred in characteristics as people. They are foundational to what makes brands human. As we interact with these brands, we make decisions subconsciously. It’s in our subconscious that we make decisions all based on the feelings and experiences of a brand. This means whether we’ve had a good experience or bad one, we will more often than not, choose the good over the bad.
“95% of thought, emotion, and learning occur in the unconscious mind – that is, without our awareness.”
The principles of your brand, the way it goes about its business, and the experiences that your customers, suppliers, and wider public have with your brand is predicated on the values that it displays through its behavior.
Brand Values Shape Reputation
Core values set the purpose of the brand, guide behaviors, and bring all the brand representatives and ambassadors together on the same page. Because we are all different people, we all have different personal values. That said, what’s important to one person may not be as important to another. If everybody internally within the brand was to communicate the brand’s audience, their own set of beliefs, and what they believe is important, then different consumers would experience the brand differently.
A lack of consistency throughout any aspect of the brand leads to confusion. That confusion leads to mistrust.
All successful brands are built on trust. Trust builds brand loyalty. At the foundation, it’s critical to outline your values and your behaviors early on in your formation, because values are what’s important in a brand in how it goes about in its daily operations.
“86% of prospective workers wouldn’t seek employment in a company with a bad public image.”
In order to breed consistency in the brand experience and for that matter in all aspects of the brand, core values are one of the most misused tools in branding. Now, most businesses have core values and even put them on their website, but in most cases, the leadership behind that business either has little or no connection to the values displayed, or they don’t even know they exist.
“Disengaged employees are 2.8x more likely to leave their company for a better culture than engaged employees.”
Many values for brands are created purely from a marketing perspective and exist only in words on a website. Much of internal branding is hastily thrown together or skimmed over completely. The reason for this is because there’s a lack of measurable metrics that can justify their existence.
The rise of digital marketing has led to countless measurable metrics that can all be used to confirm the success or failure of marketing tactics. This means that the return on investment (ROI) is measured more on marketing initiatives than on branding because it shows what works or what doesn’t in a concrete manner.
Internal branding suddenly put together without much planning in the end hurts the company because the leadership, and employees are communicating inconsistencies. Inconsistent behavior and words spoken often leads to mistrust both internally and externally, thus in turn, causing confusion. Basically, one behavior ends up contradicting another behavior and so the team operates its daily operations in mistrust.
In the end, this hurts the company, it hurts the brand.
“Employee Belief Systems, not corporate mission statements, drive behavior.”
Core Values Affect The Bottom Line
Culture is like the fruit that is seen once the core values and company brand purpose are planted, rooted, and cultivated in the company. It displays the way the leaders and employees act even when no one is watching. When leaders and employees act in alignment with the core values, it’s a reliable indicator of a good culture and a strong company brand.
“Cultivation = The process of embedding brand values throughout the organization.”
Bottom line, looking at the fruit will determine the health of the root.
Honoring core values is attainable when intent is at the forefront.
To make core values thrive internally and externally, they should include these two foundations:
- Create them unique to the brand –
Company values that are unique to the brand should inspire a sense of togetherness. If your values contain actionable verbs that are specific to your brand, they will offer a stronger sense of direction and may be easier to adopt and utilize.
- Create and cultivate by the leadership team –
Core values should originate from a list of values that the leadership wants to consider “most important” in remembering what the company does on a daily basis. What would your audience experience interacting with your brand? What would they say about your behavior? The more you think of your company like a person, the stronger your values will be. Modeling your core values will embed that behavior across your organization because your leadership matters to the growth of your team, your brand, and your bottom line.
“Culture attracts high-caliber employees and leads to a 33% revenue increase.”
Company brands prosper when core values are unique to the brand, and created and cultivated from the leadership. Once formed with these two foundations and held as behavioral examples team-wide, your brand audience will engage with a higher level of transparency and authenticity.
If you don’t know your core values, or have trouble remembering them, then you might be losing money.
A set of core values that truly reflects your brand’s behavior can shape the reputation you want in the marketplace—and positively affect your bottom line. If you need help determining if it’s time for a refresh, or would like some guidance around developing a new set of core values, we’re here to help.
Work with us to put your business on the path to success by developing a well-rounded strategy that takes into account how customers see and interact with your brand every day.
Nicole Andrew is a 20 year brand designer, Level-C certified brand strategist, educator, and co-owner of 28Lions, a branding & marketing consultancy agency.