More Than Words

3 Mins

Are your company values meaningless?

  • Integrity
  • Communication
  • Respect
  • Excellence

These words are common values you might see on any company webpage. Maybe you have similar ones.

These are actually Enron’s company values

The values were painted on an office wall when the company collapsed in 2001 exposing corruption on an epic scale. So, those painted words were fake and empty.

But declaring company values is still popular.

80% of the Fortune 100 have gone public with theirs.

When companies have values that don’t reflect reality, they can do more harm than good.

Empty words create a gap between what a company says and what it does. When that happens, employees feel cheated, and customers go elsewhere.

Effective values are good for business and encourage loyalty.

They unite employees behind a common goal and encourage engagement. They attract quality new hires looking for companies that share their personal values. And customers know what you stand for. Win, win!

So, how do you make company values meaningful?

  • Come up with core values you stick to (even when it’s hard).
  • Use your values to create the workplace culture you want.
  • Make them beliefs that you hold people accountable for.
  • Avoid overused words so you stand out from your competitors.

 Perhaps challenging the status quo matters. Maybe it’s pursuing results. Or upskilling through training and mentorships is key.

Whatever your company values, actions need to reflect them.

If you’re trying to pin down a list of company values, take your time and make sure they work in practice before you paint them on the wall.

Written by Jason Connolly