When we speak about core values, it is often in the context of our own personal lives. But businesses can have core values as well. These core values, if followed, can influence every part of a business. For instance, corporate culture, business ethics, customer service, product quality, and a host of other business aspects can all be affected by a company’s core values.
The following examples of several reputable companies with published core values is meant to serve as inspiration for what could be included in a company’s core values. But the sky is the limit. If your company has a passion for a certain charitable cause, include it in your core values. If you think it’s important that your employees consider their place of work a home away from home, make that one of your core values. If your company desires to make products that are the best or the most affordable or the most innovative, you might want to list that goal as one of your core values.
Whole Foods Market has a list of eight core values, including “We Satisfy, Delight and Nourish Our Customers”, and We Support Team Member Excellence and Happiness”, and “We Serve and Support Our Local and Global Communities”. As you can see, the core values at Whole Foods are a mix of customer-focused, employee-focused, and community-focused values.
Social game developer Zynga has a list of core values that includes: “Build Games You and Your Friends Love to Play”, “Move at Zynga Speed”, “Zynga First. Decisions for the Greater Good”, and “Be CEO. Own Outcomes.” This mix of personal work ethic and teamwork in the company’s core values gives you a sense of what Zynga expects in its employees.
Shoe and apparel company Zappos expresses some of its corporate personality through its list of core values, which includes: “Create Fun and a Little Weirdness”, “Be Adventurous, Creative and Open Minded”, “Deliver WOW Through Service”, and “Be Passionate and Determined.” This list of core values definitely gives you a sense of how Zappos operates and the type of employees they hope to attract.
Core values can also be left fairly generic. Take for example hospitality company Marriot International. Their core values include statements such as “We Put People First”, “We Pursue Excellence”, “We Act With Integrity”, and “We Serve Our World”.
Core values also need not be complicated phrases. PNC Financial Services Group lists its core values in single words, such as: “Performance”, “Integrity”, “Diversity”, and “Teamwork”. While they do define each of the terms listed in their core values on their website, PNC offers a clear example of keeping core values simple.
Corporate core values can be as unique as any individual business. What’s most important is that they truly be a reflection of your company’s ideals. If not, your core values will be ignored at best, or seen as a joke at worst.