Company values (also known as corporate values) are principles that guide employee actions and help an organization fulfill its goals. They aren’t just a set of talking points on your company website. Strong company principles can guide your employees’ day-to-day actions and ultimately affect how your organization functions. According to Professor Charles Galunic , there is a clear relationship between the Fortune 100 companies with unique values and improved financial performance.
This relationship also bears out on Glassdoor. Examining the Q4 2019 reviews of Glassdoor’s top 10 Best Places to Work revealed that 83% of companies with positive comments on their performance also received praise for their corporate values.
The Barometer team dug deeper: what types of corporate values do the Best Places to Work exhibit, and how might they affect company performance? We found that employees highlighted four key values driving their companies’ success: transparency, inclusivity, mutual support, and customer centricity.
Develop Strong Corporate Values to Improve Performance
Analyzing the Best Places to Work revealed that transparency and candor, inclusion of diverse people and ideas, mutual support among employees, as well as a focus on customers were among the most frequently praised corporate values. Here are the values you can adopt to improve your company’s performance:
Keep Goals and Decisions Transparent
Employees praising company performance appreciated the openness of company goal setting and decision-making. Reviewers pointed to leadership’s “investment in transparency” that enabled “alignment on vision from the CEO all the way through the company”.
Openness influenced performance in several ways. Transparent company policies made the organization more attractive to top talent. HubSpot (ranked #1) employees viewed their “clear, fair, and objective” career progression system as one of the reasons for staying there.
Candid product assessments also made product improvements more effective. DocuSign’s (#3) reviewers described their company’s “structured, clear-cut matrix for measuring and improving performance” made their product goals “achievable and realistic”.
Promote Inclusivity of People and Ideas
Reviewers at well-performing organizations lauded their companies’ commitments to inclusivity. Employees specifically pointed to “dedicated teams focused on inclusion” to create an environment conducive to various people sharing their ideas.
Ensuring employees felt they belonged made them more willing to advance company goals. Intuitive Surgical (#7) employees viewed leadership’s efforts to “make sure that [they] are comfortable” and enjoying their jobs as supporting an atmosphere that “never rested on its laurels” to build good products.
Inclusion also made products and services more accessible. DocuSign employees highlighted the “variety of many smart talented people that bring fresh ideas” to build products “that everyone can use”.
Encourage Mutual Support and Empowerment
High-performing companies received praise for supporting their employees. This support came both from leadership and other team members.
Support from leadership empowered employees to find areas of their company where they can move it forward. DocuSign and In-n-Out Burger (#4) reviewers emphasized how “leadership takes the time to hear you and get in the trenches with you” to ensure your success.
Valuing mutual support also guaranteed that employees had each other’s back to meet company milestones. HubSpot employees were confident that if one team member was unable to complete a task, “it’ll still get done quickly by the best of the best.”
Put your Customers First
Focusing on customers at every decision level also defined well-functioning companies. Reviewers commended companies that “look to be profitable like all others but strive to do so in partnership with [their] customers.”
Valuing customers helped make better products. DocuSign reviewers described their product as “undeniably amazing as they continue to cater to the customer’s needs”. Even In-n-Out Burger employees described their company’s dedication to customer satisfaction as “not a marketing scheme, it is real. I feel more comfortable eating [at In-n-Out] than most restaurants.”
It also drove growth. Happy customers were likely to be upsold or refer others. One HubSpot employee noted that “actually caring for the customers…from the top all the way down” enabled customer referrals to be their “greatest lead source because people have such great experiences of working with our team.”
A Successful Company begins with Strong Values
Having core values that define your organization can be critical to its success. They help attract top talent, drive innovation, and push for ambitious company goals. In addition, core values can help educate customers the identity of the company, thus building a strong customer loyalty base for your brand.
Take some time to see how you can strengthen your corporate values based on Glassdoor’s top 10 Best Places to Work. Make sure you’re able to clearly define who you are and focus on the company beliefs to help make business run smoothly.