Choosing Core Company Values: 15 Meaningful Examples

Ever feel like your work doesn’t serve a bigger purpose?

June 27, 2022
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Ever feel like your work doesn’t serve a bigger purpose?

If you don’t, you’ve got your company and its core values to thank for it. 🙌

Companies with clear core values drive employees towards a larger goal and give them a purpose. And purpose is the key to employee satisfaction—a survey of LinkedIn members by Imperative reveals that 73% of purpose-oriented people are satisfied with their jobs.

Need help with choosing company core values? We’ve got your back.

In this article, we give you a lowdown on what business core values are and examples of core values to choose from.

Business Core Values Definition

Business core values are guiding principles that help the company achieve its vision and mission.They’re the building blocks of your company culture and create a positive, purpose-driven work environment.

So, the million-dollar question: what type of core values should you have? 🤔

15 Examples of Business Core Values

Here are some of the most important core values to choose for your business.

  1. Teamwork

Teamwork is a powerful force that can help a company achieve its goals faster.

Collective efforts compound and produce results that are nearly impossible to achieve as an individual.

But the challenge is to keep your team engaged and motivated. For teams to thrive, you need to recognize every member’s contribution.

Recognition and rewards are especially tricky with remote teams, but using Assembly makes it easier and fun. For instance, you can celebrate a teammate’s achievements and contributions with Assembly’s “Celebrate a Teammate” flow like so:

  1. Customer-Centricity

Put your user at the center of everything you do. 🎯

As Google explains on its philosophy page:

“Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the home page, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.”

Make a promise to your customer or user and stay true to your commitment to customer-centricity.

  1. Integrity

You want your customers and users to see you as a reliable, trustworthy business. 

Having integrity helps you establish yourself as reliable and trustworthy through transparency and strong ethics.

Integrity helps you build long, fruitful business relationships.

But integrity is more than what most people think of it.

As John Blumberg, author of Return on Integrity and an integrity expert, explains that integrity isn’t just a core value, “it’s the fabric of every core value.”

  1. Honesty

Your kindergarten teacher was spot on: Honesty is the best policy.

Being transparent both within the organization and with your customers is key to building a strong image, not just in the industry but in society at large.

  1. Continuous Learning

Think you’ve got all the answers? The truth is, no one does. 

The more you learn, the more you grow, and the faster you grow. Make kaizen an integral part of the company culture. When you’re encouraging everyone to upskill, you’ll see a sharp increase in your company’s growth momentum.

  1. Diversity

Fresh ideas, new perspectives, and unconventional approaches breed innovation and creativity.

Bringing people from different walks of life and with different types of experiences can help companies make better decisions. As Coca-Cola explains on its Global Diversity Mission page:

“We champion diversity by building a workforce as diverse as the consumers we serve. Because the more perspectives we have, the better decisions we make.”

But here’s the challenge: you often see a slight disconnect between members in a diverse team, especially if you’re a remote team.

But Assembly can help you, just like it helped UpKeep build an engaging remote world for its team of over 150 members.

Hear what Heather, Program Manager at UpKeep, liked about Assembly:

  1. Accountability

Almost everyone has had a boss who slacked but still asked employees to always meet deadlines. 🙄

That’s a great recipe for attrition.

You should hold yourself just as accountable as your team.

Own your mistakes and lead by example. If you’ve made a mistake, let your team see that you acknowledge it, and how you work on ensuring it doesn’t happen again.

  1. Passion

It’s okay to focus on profit. But to become a remarkable company, you need to care about more than just the money.

You won’t go far if you’re not passionate about your work. Passion pushes you to take things one step further.

Think about American Express for instance. It has been around for over a century. It’s a brand people trust. The reason? Amex has a culture that encourages teams to do more than just what’s necessary.

Raymond Joabar shares an incident in a Forbes interview where he reveals how his team went above and beyond to help one of their customers. 

Once, an Amex merchant called Raymond requesting help. He had accidentally sold a display cake with harmful chemicals to one of the customers. 

Instead of just sharing the list of cardholders who swiped their card at the cake shop, the team went through the record of charge, identified 21 members who swiped their cards during that time frame, and reviewed their accounts to find the right person. 

That’s passion.

  1. Dignity and Respect

You should ensure everyone feels respected at work. 

Respect isn’t only about avoiding name-calling, it’s also about subtler things that you might unknowingly overlook. For example, you should always let a person finish talking instead of butting it.

As Coborn’s says on its core values page: treat everyone as you wish to be treated.

  1. Innovation

Innovation encourages action.

A company should spark its employees’ curiosity and nudge them towards exploring new ideas. 

Employees should be encouraged to take calculated risks, experiment, and learn from mistakes.

Innovation isn’t just about helping the company, though. 

It also helps employees achieve their full potential and validate their skills. And we all know what that means—better retention rates. 😊

  1. Humility

Does humility mean you can’t be proud of yourself?

Not quite. 🙅

Humility means you should be graceful in how you express your achievements. Be confident and respectful, and never arrogant.

Encouraging humility helps ensure that the team is always open to other people’s ideas and listens to those ideas objectively. It helps them keep an open mind about feedback and opinions.

  1. Simplicity

The world is crowded with options and experiences, and that’s what makes simplicity valuable. 😌

Simplicity is about trimming down what’s unnecessary. 

For example, you can focus on removing clutter from your workflow or products, keeping only what’s essential. If your product is loaded with features your target audience doesn’t use, it’s time to reconsider the feature set.

Simplicity isn’t necessarily boring. None of the core values are. And if you think the team isn’t very excited about core values, try Assembly.

Listen to Theresa Stover of PJ Fitzpatrick share her experience with Assembly and how they used it to make core values fun:

  1. Quality

Regardless of how in-demand your product is, you need to strive for quality.

When you focus on quality, you’ll attract customers that are willing to pay the price that solves their problem right out of the box.

You also earn goodwill and build a reputation as a business that maintains high standards. 🏅

  1. Trust

Trust leads to quicker decisions, better collaboration, and improved retention.

Employees thrive in a culture where employees feel safe, respected, and free to express their opinions. That’s why you need to build trust with your team.

Trust is fragile, though. Break it once and it’s hard to earn back.

Granted, you’ve got a full plate.

But if building and maintaining trust takes a backseat, you’ll notice employee productivity and satisfaction drop.

A survey by YPO finds the following obstacles in maintaining employee trust:

  • Competing priorities (41%)
  • Lack of time to devote to effective trust building (34%)
  • Lack of alignment among senior leadership (24%)
  • Company culture (22%)
  • Lack of knowledge (22%)
  • Operational structure (21%)
  1. Boldness

There’s a thin line between boldness and recklessness. 🤏

The line represents prudence and foresight.

You can’t hire a growth team in one week and call yourself bold. You need to look at the cost-benefit of your actions. Or you risk, quite literally, losing your job.

Boldness is about having the drive to take calculated risks and being committed to achieving your goals. And if you must challenge the status quo in the process, you should do it boldly.

Real Examples of Business Core Values

Need inspiration? 💫

Here are some of the biggest companies with strong core values.

  1. Google

Google lists its core values on its philosophy page and gives examples of how they work on staying true to those values.

  • Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  • It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
  • Fast is better than slow.
  • Democracy on the web works.
  • You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
  • You can make money without doing evil.
  • There’s always more information out there.
  • The need for information crosses all borders.
  • You can be serious without a suit.
  • Great just isn’t good enough.
  1. Uber

Uber lists the following core values, or as it likes to call them, cultural norms:

  • We build globally, we live locally.
  • We are customer obsessed.
  • We celebrate differences.
  • We do the right thing.
  • We act like owners.
  • We preserve.
  • We value ideas over hierarchy.
  • We make big bold bets.
  1. Slack

Slack’s core values are reflective of its brand as a modern, friendly brand. Here are the Slack’s six core values:

  • Empathy
  • Courtesy
  • Thriving
  • Craftsmanship
  • Playfulness
  • Solidarity

How to Identify Core Company Values

Every business should have core values that guide the company.

If you’re only getting started: 

  1. Look at your role models and determine what makes them special. 
  2. List those characteristics. That’s the list where you’ll find your values.
  3. Strike-off ones that you don’t think are important. 
  4. When you have about 10 to 15 values in the list, brainstorm with stakeholders and team members to find your core values.

It’s almost fun identifying core values. But don’t forget, these core values are your company’s north star.

Core Values are Your Company’s North Star 🌟

If you look at Enron’s 2000 annual report, you’ll see its corporate values: Communication. Respect. Integrity. Excellence.

See why just having core values is only half the job?

Core values are helpful only when you implement them correctly by including employees in the process. Engage them in conversations about values and help them understand the importance of values.

When you have a tool like Assembly, it’s easy to engage, guide, and reward employees. Sound interesting? Sign up for Assembly’s free 14-day trial.

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