Author: Joshua Shale, COO of Speedeon
Core Values: How?
Core Values are a key aspect to any business. They define what the company aspires to be, gives employees insight into the mission of the business and provides guidance as to how our business is conducted. Speedeon spent a great deal of time and effort to define our Core Values and it has been one of the best investments that we have made as a company. This is how we created the formula and how we use it.
How We Defined Our Values – The Process
A team was assembled for strategic planning and we spent a day to define our Core Values. Here is how we did it:
- Step 1: We used a facilitator – this is tremendously important as each team member needs to contribute and bring their unique perspective to the process. The other required asset is plenty of white board space.
- Step 2: The next step is for the team to think of and agree upon a group of A+ employees in the company and to write their names on a white board.
- Step 3: Next the team free associate’s words, phrases, qualities and outcomes that these star employees exhibit – the qualities that make them indispensable to the team. There were about eighty and they too went on the white board.
- Step 4: Then we went through a series of elimination stages where many of the words and phrases are removed. We used several rounds of voting and only the words that received more than the threshold of votes continued in the running. This process continued until we had four that everyone could absolutely agree upon.
- Step 5: With the essence of the Core Value defined we then spent a great deal of time to word smith them into clear and impactful phrases.
- The Extra Mile: Then we went the extra step to define each one symbolically. We find that the symbolism of our Core Values is intriguing and makes people not familiar with Speedeon want to know what they are. It is a great way for us to introduce ourselves.
It was a long day but it has proved essential to defining who we are.
How We Use Them – Integrating Core Values into Business
Our Core Values are not a set of bland platitudes that are displayed in a generic poster in the reception area or the main conference room. They are used in many ways including:
- Hiring: we always explain a Core Value to a candidate and why it is important and then ask them to provide examples of times when they used that value in their professional or personal lives. We find that good candidates that cannot do this quickly and well do not make for good employees.
- Evaluating Partners: Any potential business partner should at very least not be diametrically opposed to any of our Core Values and at best be strongly aligned with at least some of them. Doing this helps us to enter into successful business relationships.
- Employee evaluations: our managers are trained to use the Core Values as part of their quarterly personnel reviews; it offers a direct way to show employees where they need to focus their improvements and the areas where they excel.
Our Core Values define our company and how we conduct ourselves as a whole.