If you were to ask your employees what your business’ core values are, would they be able to answer?
Moreover, if you conducted interviews with customers, would what they tell you about their interactions with your staff be in line with those values?
Your brand fundamentals — mission statement, vision statement, core values, etc. — are crucial to building a business both your employees and your customers can fully stand behind.
People want to have purpose and belonging. These fundamentals must establish an honorable purpose that would make you and your team proud in order to work.
However, just creating them isn’t going to result in a sudden increase in brand loyalty. It takes dedication and a commitment to setting up detailed processes to ensure these values are being followed day-in and day-out.
So, how do you do that? Here are a few ways top companies are maintaining their establishing their values for their employees.
Evolve Your Vision And Values From The Ground Up
When you first came upon the idea for your business, chances are — unless you worked with a co-founder or small team — you came up with your business’ vision and core values. And that makes sense because, at the time, it was all you.
But as your business starts to grow, so does your team. Whether you’re still in that growth mode or are just beyond it, you understand how crucial it is to hire and maintain employees who fully believe in what they’re working toward.
You could tell them on day one, “okay, here are our vision and core values. Start following them now.”
This works as a first step once you have all the groundwork completed. But in the first few years, your company is ever-evolving.
What was your vision two years ago when you were a solo team and had an idea of what you wanted to achieve may be drastically different than it is today.
A great way to ensure your staff is committed to your business’ vision and values is to create them alongside them. Once you have the ground level of employees built up, pull everyone together and work on establishing those fundamentals as a team.
At the end of it, everyone should feel as though they have buy-in and ownership over the direction of the company. This gives them a specific purpose to work towards — and one that aligns with their own personal values.
Review The Brand’s Foundation Every Day
The Ritz Carlton is renown around the world for their luxurious hotels and impeccable customer service. In an interview with StoryBrand, Horst Schulze, the founder of Ritz Carlton, explained a few of the practical ways he leads with vision in his business.
It’s as simple as this: on the first day a new employee comes to work, they are taught everything about the company from the very beginning.
Rather than teaching the systems and processes, they focus on who they are, the vision, why that’s the vision, why the vision good for everyone, and so on.
Then, in order to keep employees from forgetting it, they break it down into 24 components. Every day, before every shift, as soon as the employee comes in, they go over one of the 24 during the stand-up meeting and own that component for the rest of the day.
Bring this concept into your own business by creating a list of your brand’s fundamentals (Ritz Carlton calls these their Golden Standards). These are the things your business lives by every day and its what helps your brand stand out from your competitors.
Then, as you build your team, incorporate a process to have them commit to one thing every day. Not only will this work to reinforce your core values, vision, and mission, but it will also give your employees a sense of purpose that will take them to the next level of commitment to your business.
Empower Your Employees to Achieve Your Vision
There’s not much worse than having a terrible experience with a company, telling an employee of said company, asking if they can make it right, and having them respond with, “I’m sorry, I don’t have the power to do that.”
Not only does it make you feel crappy as a customer, but it also makes the employee feel like they don’t really have a say in how to help move the company forward.
That’s why Schulze is adamant about empowering every single employee within the company – from dishwasher to managers. How? They give them the flexibility to make decisions that achieve the number one objective for the company.
At Ritz Carlton, every employee can make a decision to make their customers happy for up to $2,000. That’s because their number one objective is to keep customers wanting to come back.
This not only helps solve the customer’s problem right away but also gives employees a sense of ownership: like they have the power to make or break the perception of the company they work for.
One of the biggest motivators for employees these days is having a sense of purpose and believing in what they’re working toward every day. It’s not enough just to have your business’ core values, vision, and mission set if you’re not reinforcing it within your team every single day.
If you’re thinking about revisiting your brand’s fundamentals, you’re in the right place. Download our free brand story worksheet and work closely with your team to establish the fundamentals for your brand.