Defining core values isn’t easy and neither is finding purpose, but once you discover the answers to both, you can strengthen your company’s performance by uniting your team members.
Bob Penland, TruMethods’ CTO, and I hosted a seminar on company values and purpose for TruMethods members. To gauge how far along attendees were with developing these core aspects to company identity, we polled attendees and learned the following: Thirty-six percent of them didn’t have company values or a purpose on the books.
While they’re commonly overlooked components of the business planning process, company values and purpose build culture, and oftentimes, separate the winners from the losers.
What does your company value?
If you’ve been putting off the daunting task of creating your company’s core values, it’s time to act before your procrastinating negatively impacts your company’s culture and business performance.
Due to the challenging nature of developing company values, many business owners skip this step. They’d rather invest time in sales processes, business planning and other aspects of business.
Core values are simply the cultural foundation of your company. Most importantly, they’re what allow your team to make decisions in your absence.
We have two core values at TruMethods: members first and be awesome.
While the first principle is self-explanatory, the second is vague.
To me, being awesome means always do your best. For example, my goal is to go to work every day and work hard, efficient and develop a track record of results.
Some examples of MSP core values include manage client expectations, not tickets; live "our company way"; and today not tomorrow (TNT).
It takes a year or more to fully establish the right core values, but after you identify the right ones, they can transform your organization for the better, especially when they’re paired with a purpose.
What should your company’s purpose be?
Simply, think about why your company exists — that’s its purpose.
Your company’s purpose isn’t a tagline you throw around by occasionally adding it to marketing materials. It should capture — in a single sentence — the hearts and minds of your team members. A company’s true purpose provides your employees with a greater sense of purpose.
Basically, at the very least, a company purpose should unite your team members under a single cause.
When developing your company purpose, think about why you're so passionate about what you do. Consider the mark you want your company to make on the world. If your company were to go away today, how much of a vacuum would be left?
Your company’s purpose should be something you revert to when forced to make big decisions about your organization; it should help guide you in the right direction and provide you with a little relief when making an unpopular decision for the greater good of your business.
Having a company purpose enables you to answer the following question when faced with tough decisions: How will this further our cause?
Here is an example company purpose: “Use our unique approach to Technology Success to enable our clients to better serve the world.”
If you haven’t defined your company’s purpose, put it on your quarterly action plan.
Core values and purpose are the magic of success in our business. If both are well defined, your company will be able to attract top talent, strengthen its performance and come out on top.