Core values represent an extraordinary level of excellence and service; especially when found in the employees of a company and therefore translates to the level of quality and service provided to the clients by the company as a whole. Specialized and directed recruiting and training efforts are keys to establishing and fostering a work environment where core values are…well…valued.
When it comes to excellence, teamwork, dependability, integrity or professionalism It is tempting in any business model to begin cutting corners in order to save money on costs – especially when it is perceived that these cuts can be accomplished without affecting the quality of the end service or product provided to the customer. What is often missed is the effect these cuts have on the internal morale and workings of the employees and their core values. It is hard to feel trustworthy or a sense of integrity if your employer’s policies or procedures demand questionable or downright illegal activity.
An environment where the core values thrives is homogenous through and through, and the best part is, that the core values can be infectious – getting picked up by new employees who see them modeled consistently by your veteran workers and especially their managers. While the core values are individual and corporate traits, they are also an environment. Employees who start work on day one seeing their colleagues loaf around, playing games on the computer, and talking negatively about management and their customers are going to absorb that negativity and likely trend toward the same behaviors. The converse, however, is also true.
The best place to begin in building an extraordinary business model and work environment around the core values is with management. If you are hiring – seek the core values out in your new employees. Invest in professional training for your existing management team to showcase your expectations for the working environment. Most of all, be open with your managers and supervisors about the type of working conditions you wish to foster, marking it clear that you are watching out for these qualities in them and will reward those individuals who not only best exemplify the core values, but also manage to pass them on to their workers. It is a win-win situation, for the employer who gains a cadre of trustworthy, excellent, dependable individuals who work well as a team, and for the clients and customers, who will notice a difference between your business and your competitors as a result.
Webster’s Dictionary defines Excellence as “the quality of being excellent,” and defines excellent as “very good: extremely good.” So, excellence in business is simply being very good at what one does. Easier said than done since “good” is a relative term and, relatively speaking, all of your competition is trying to be “good” at what you do as well. Read more
Webster’s dictionary defines professionalism as: the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.
Good judgment with regard to your company’s specific product or service is easy to train – good judgment in general, however, is something that it takes years to master – usually from our childhood. It is this general judgment that is fairly easy to spot, test, and interview for before offering an applicant a position with your company. Read more
Miriam-Webster’s dictionary defines Dependability ”able to be trusted to do or provide what is needed : able to be depended on”
At first blush, dependability may seem like a lesser value, but in truth it is every bit as critical and important as the rest, because in business it is dependability that determines whether your customers will return. In the realm of employment a dependable employee is the one with the most appreciation from management and least likely to find themselves laid off or replaced. Read more
Webster’s dictionary defines teamwork as: work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.
The first place where we usually learn teamwork is when playing sports or games as children. It doesn’t usually take long before most children realize that in a team sport, those who seek their own glory, fame and self-interests are more of a hindrance than a help. As children grow into adulthood and enter the business world these early lessons are reinforced continually, for in business, the team that backstabs, climbs over companions, and is filled with self-interested individuals is a team that is dragging its company down.
There are very few businesses that encourage dog-eat-dog tactics among its employees. That kind of toxic environment is best reserved for companies whose ethical concerns are minimal and whose clientele and stakeholders are absolutely concerned with profit over every other consideration. Read more
Webster’s dictionary defines integrity as: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. When it comes to successful business dealings, integrity is a highly sought-after, but increasingly rare commodity.
Personal Integrity involves an internal commitment to avoiding what are seen as vices in society: lying, stealing, cheating, gossiping, etc. A person with integrity does not avoid vices only when it is convenient, or when they are worried they will be caught. Someone with integrity avoids a particular vice (or all of them) at every time as a matter of personal pride and honor.
Integrity in business is a little trickier, because of the nature of business – which is to make money – and also because businesses are often required to appeal to a wide range of stakeholders, some of who may not have the same levels of integrity.
At its core, business integrity involves gaining and keeping the trust of both clients of the business and other businesses (vendors) that your company works with. Companies without the trust of their clients and customers do not last long.
There is also a matter of integrity in the workplace, among the management, the employees, and contractors. In the hiring process, hiring managers do well to seek and find – as best they are able – individuals who exhibit a high level of integrity. In the hiring process, looking for integrity in employees means searching for those who
- Do what they say they will do
- Give constructive feedback often
- Deal truthfully with clients and coworkers
It is the search for employees with integrity, that has given rise to the endless line of businesses that offer pre-employment assessments such as the Kolbe Corp., and Wonderlic. These assessments are often scientifically generated by doctors and psychologists to test a candidate’s responses in a way that reveals even when a candidate is trying to manipulate their answers and not respond truthfully to the questions.
Forbes agrees: integrity starts at the top of a business. From top to bottom, if business owners and stakeholders can build a team full of individuals with business integrity, outcomes for profitability, lower turnover, a stable work environment, and other savings are much more likely to be realized.
It is possible for a person to possess great integrity, however, and not be a particularly good team player. The next article in A2Q2’s Core Values in Business series will focus on the importance of teamwork.
The business of business lies in customer satisfaction. Without customers to sell a product or service to, no business thrives for long. Without customer satisfaction, no business keeps its customers for long.
The business of keeping customers satisfied is itself, a billion-dollar industry, as companies invest in the expertise of organizations whose sole purpose is to tell them how to appeal to their customer base and attract that ever-loyal word-of-mouth clientele. Read more
Any ongoing relationship between employers and employees can be summed up into three categories: recruiting, training and retaining. Recruitment can be difficult unto itself, but not if you know the right strategies to attract the talent you really want in your company. Training is expensive but essential to business success. Employees must be trained to maximize their productivity, output and performance. Employees who are not trained are easily frustrated and ineffective in their jobs, which can be extraordinarily costly when it comes to your clientele. Well-trained employees are not only better workers, but training – if properly introduced and managed – can itself be an employment perk that helps with the last category of relationship: retention. Read more
There is no disputing that when it comes to employment, things went significantly downhill back in 2008 the world over and, in the United States, they’ve had a difficult time getting back to a place of normalcy. While entry-level jobs have become more scarce, however, job openings for skilled office workers – managers, engineers, accountants, and computer techs, are sitting wide open. For those who have the skills and experience to manage a project or take part in a complicated SOX audit, the doors are not only open, but the hiring managers are on the other side begging for their attention. Read more
Business etiquette. What exactly does it mean? Does anyone even adhere or think of it as they are going about their daily work? I am sure after a long, disastrous commute, no breakfast and cold coffee the last thing on your mind is answering an email or phone call with proper business etiquette. While you may feel you are practicing proper manners when you respond to someone in your office, you could actually come across as rather relaxed or non-professional. Etiquette and manners are two entirely different animals and in order to discuss business etiquette in the technology and virtual world we live in today it will mean reviewing what etiquette truly means, as well as the difference between etiquette and manners. Read more