back

How to Write Inspiring Core Values? 5 Steps with Examples

Core company values are the guiding principles that reflect and define an organization’s culture and behavior. Core values provide an important opportunity to define what values are truly important to the organization, helping to create a unified organizational culture, attract and retain talent, and gain customer loyalty. In this article you will find a step by step guide on how to write your company’s core values, with examples.

How to Write Core Values:

Crafting core values is an essential part of defining your company’s culture and setting the tone for the workplace. It’s a process that requires careful consideration, but can have a lasting impact on your team. Here are the exact steps that you can follow to craft inspiring core values for your business:

Part 1Writing Core Values, Step 1: Create a List

First, identify a list of potential core values you might be interested in. Your first draft will contain more core values than your final list, so just write it down without overthinking. Think about all the organizational values that you personally like, as well as about those values that are common in your industry.

We analyzed an extensive list of core values for 250 companies (12 industries) and here is what we found:

List of common core values for companies

  • Technology Companies: innovation, quality, transparency, teamwork, continuous learning.
  • Travel and Accommodation Companies: customer service, flexibility, excellence, professionalism, safety.
  • eCommerce Companies: customer focus, innovation, integrity, collaboration, respect, quality, excellence.
  • Innovation and media companies: creativity, diversity, collaboration, openness, integrity.
  • Food and Beverage Companies: customer service, quality, innovation, sustainability, integrity.
  • Consumer Services and Products: customer satisfaction, responsibility, quality, integrity, respect.
  • B2B Companies: respect, passion, integrity, trust, quality.
  • Real Estate Companies: integrity, respect, innovation, customer focus, and collaboration.
  • Energy and Chemicals Companies: safety, integrity, sustainability, collaboration, responsibility, and efficiency.
  • Finance and Insurance Companies: commitment to customer service, integrity, transparency, and ethical practices.
  • Construction and Production Companies: safety, integrity, respect, quality, collaboration, innovation, and sustainability.

More examples: 250+ Best Core Values: Examples for 12 Industries

Part 2Writing Core Values, Step 2: Review the List and Choose the Values

Once you have your list, narrow it down to a set of around 5 core values that are most important to your business. Choose the values that accurately reflect your company. How do you choose? What are the criteria?

Examples of selection criteria for choosing core values:

  • Think about what sets your company apart from competitors and what makes it unique.
  • Who are the customers, partners, and other internal and external stakeholders? What is important for them?
  • Think about the desired characteristics for your organization in terms of which values will help positively guide your culture.
  • Consider what qualities you want to promote and encourage among your staff.
  • Think about how you want your team to interact with each other and the outside world.
  • Reflect on your company’s mission: what is the company vision and mission statement and how these potential core values reflect the organization in this context?
  160 Mission Statements Examples [for B2B Services & Products]

Part 3Writing Core Values, Step 3: Write Phrases

Once you’ve settled on 3-7 core values, explain each of them in a few sentences. Think about how each value is relevant to your company and how it makes a difference in the lives of others. When crafting these phrases, try to keep them as short as possible – aim for no more than 10 words per value (ideally 3-4).

Option 1: Create phrases that capture the essence of these values.

Examples of core values in this category:

Virgin Airlines

1. We think customer
2. We lead the way
3. We do the right thing
4. We are determined to deliver
5. Together we make the difference

Facebook

1. Focus on impact
2. Move fast
3. Be bold
4. Be open
5. Build social value

LinkedIn

1. Our Members Come First
2. Relationships Matter
3. Be Open, Honest and Constructive
4. Demand Excellence
5. Take Intelligent Risks
6. Act Like an Owner

IKEA

1. Humbleness and willpower.
2. Leadership by example.
3. Daring to be different.
4. Togetherness and enthusiasm.
5. Cost-consciousness.
6. Constant desire for renewal.
7. Accept and delegate responsibility.

Option 2: Write a value and then write what it means

Examples of core values in this category:

Genentech

1. Passion means we use our drive and commitment to energize, engage and inspire others.
2. Courage means we are entrepreneurial and thus take risks, reach beyond boundaries and experiment.
3. Integrity means we are consistently open, honest, ethical and genuine.

Coca-Cola

1. Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
2. Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
3. Integrity: Be real
4. Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me
5. Passion: Committed in heart and mind
6. Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
7. Quality: What we do, we do well

 

Cushman & Wakefield

Integrity & respect: Our foremost standards of conduct
Collaboration & trust: A culture of collaboration, trust and sharing of information
Confidence: Confidence in each other to deliver the most creative and innovative services to our clients
Mentorship: Attract and develop the most talented professionals

Option 3: Write a value and that’s it

Examples of core values in this category:

Procter & Gamble

1. Integrity
2. Leadership
3. Ownership
4. Passion for Winning
5. Trust

American Transmission Co.

1. Employees
2. Customers
3. Environment
4. Safety
5. Teamwork
6. Diversity
7. Community Interaction
8. Competitive Spirit
9. Improvement & innovation
10. Compliance
11. Fun

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

1. Customer Service
2. Quality
3. Empathy
4. Respect
5. Integrity
6. Responsibility
7. Teamwork

All examples: 250+ Best Core Values: Examples for 12 Industries

Part 4Writing Core Values, Step 4: Discuss and Refine Core Values

Once you have a good understanding of each value, it’s time to discuss them and refine them with your team members. A diverse team of employees, ranging from upper management to front-line workers, could collaborate in brainstorming sessions to ensure a well-rounded set of values. This inclusivity fosters a sense of ownership among employees and creates a value system based on collective input. This process may involve combining similar values, removing redundant ones, or prioritizing the most crucial guiding principles based on the organization’s goals and culture.

  Best Mission Statements Examples [for Insurance Companies]

After refining the values, the next step is to test their applicability within the company by considering different scenarios. Assessing how these values would influence decision-making, customer relations, and team collaboration can help determine their effectiveness in shaping the organization’s culture and guiding daily activities.

Part 5Writing Core Values, Step 5: Make Core Values Visible and Align Employees with Core Values

Make sure that everyone in your company is familiar with your core values. Make sure that the list of your company’s core values is available to all departments (especially human resources) at any time. The most productive way is to use core values in your recruitment strategy from the beginning.

Why is it important to use core values in your hiring strategy? (Natural alignment)

It is hard to forcefully align people with values that they are naturally not aligned with. So it is just more productive to hire people who align with the company’s values. Basically, by having a set of core values available for them, recruiters can ensure that they are looking for candidates who share the same beliefs and values. This helps attract top talent and create a positive and productive team with a shared sense of purpose and mission. Core values can also be used to guide the recruitment process itself, setting parameters for qualifications and expectations for job seekers. A set of company’s core values should be at the heart of your human resources strategy, as they set the tone for what type of person you want to bring on board. HR leaders should look for candidates who are a reflection of the company’s core values, which will improve employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and employee experience in general.

How to integrate core values into the company culture:

  1. Lead by example

    Company leaders and management should embody the core values and serve as role models for employees. This means living by the values and demonstrating them in their daily actions and decisions. It is important to establish a diverse team of respected, engaged, and model employees to help create and champion company values.

  2. Regularly communicate core values

    Clearly communicate the values to all team members, ensuring that everyone understands their importance and relevance. One way to do that is by discussing the values in team meetings and demonstrating how they influence decisions and the company’s behavior. It is equally important to introduce your core values to your team members during onboarding sessions.

  3. Integrate values into daily work

    Incorporate the core values in everyday tasks and operations, making them a guiding principle for decision-making. This can involve integrating them into performance evaluations, setting goals tied to values, and including them in training programs. Creating a dedicated communication channel, such as a Slack or Teams channel, can be an effective tool to share examples and praise employees who are exemplifying the company’s values in their day-to-day work.

  4. Recognize and reward

    Acknowledge and celebrate employees who exemplify the core values, either through verbal recognition, awards, or other incentives. This not only reinforces the importance of values but also motivates employees to adhere to them. Incorporating the values in performance reviews and KPIs can encourage employees to align their actions and priorities with the company’s core values. Linking specific behaviors, decisions, and achievements to each value, can create a stronger connection and tangible benefits.

  5. Practice regular assessment and feedback

    Periodically review and assess how well the company’s core values are being implemented and upheld. This can involve conducting surveys, collecting feedback, and holding open discussions with employees. Make necessary adjustments and improvements based on the insights gathered.

In external communication, showcasing the company’s core values on your website, marketing materials, and social media can help you attract like-minded customers and potential employees.

See also: How to Create a Perfect Company Mission, Vision, Values Statement? (Awesome Template)1500+ Best Company Vision and Mission StatementsCore values of a company are usually influenced by a particular leadership style. What is your leadership style? This answer can help you define the mission, vision, and core values more authentically.
Check these articles to get inspired and find your answer:

Qualities and Values of 10 Leadership Styles

These in-depth articles will provide more inspiration:

What Is Visionary Leadership? 7 Traits of a Visionary Leader
Charismatic Leadership: The Good, Bad, and Best Practices
What Is Transformational Leadership?
What Is Democratic Leadership?
What is Affiliative Leadership? The “People First” Approach
5 Main Principles of Laissez-Faire Leadership
What is Servant Leadership? 5 Must-Have Principles
What is Strategic Leadership? [Pros and Cons]

Examples of core values by industry:

Full List: 20+ Best Core Values: Examples for Healthcare Industry
Full List: 100 Core Values: Examples for Technology Companies
Full List: 20+ Core Values: Examples for Travel and Accommodation Companies
Full List: 70+ Core Values: Examples for Social Networks and eCommerce Companies
Full List: 80+ Core Values: Examples for Innovation and Media Companies
Full List: 30+ Best Core Values: Examples for Food and Beverage Companies
Full List: 70+ Best Core Values: Examples for Consumer Services and Products Industry
Full List: 90+ Core Values: Examples for B2B Products and Services Industry
Full List: 20 Best Core Values: Examples for Real Estate Companies
Full List: 70+ Best Core Values: Examples for Energy and Chemicals Industry
Full List: 60+ Core Values: Examples for Finance and Insurance Companies
Full List: 80+ Core Values: Examples for Construction and Production Companies

Posted in: Core Values