As an organization, your company has its own unique personality, both with your employees and with your customers.  And one of Business man shows success abstract flow by ffaalumni, on Flickr the best ways to ensure that your company’s personality is consistently shining through is by identifying who you are by putting your Core Values into words.

Core Values are, simply put, a statement reflecting the things that are most important to your organization.  They are not things that change from situation to situation or with different people; they endure because they are the very foundation of your company and guide all decisions, especially those made under pressure.

So how do you come up with your Core Values?  Gathering your best, most longstanding employees together for a brainstorming session will prove invaluable.  As you start to brainstorm, you may find that posing these questions really helps to ferret out what your organization’s values are:

What motivates you in your work?

Why do you value your company’s work or product?

What are some qualities you look for when interviewing a potential employee?  Why?

Who do your customers think you are?

What are things your company never compromises on?

What is your company’s ultimate goal?

What sets your company apart from its competitors?

What do you want people to say about your company?

By asking open-ended questions like these, you’ll soon start to see themes emerge.  You can then group answers by theme and drill further down to more meaningful statements.  As you go through the process, it will become easier to sort through mere general descriptors of your company to arrive at insightful statements truly deserving of a place amongst your Core Values.

Once you have assembled a list of clear, clever statements that reflect who your company is today (your Core Values can, and likely will, evolve over time), ask yourself:

Are they inspiring?

Are they actionable?

Are they true?

If so, you have just created the cornerstone of your corporate identity.  Unveil your Core Value statements with your employees and decide on ways to feature them prominently in day to day operations so that they can become a guiding light in decision making and professional conduct.  You will be amazed by how the clarity your Core Values provide assists in growing your corporate culture, invigorating your employees, keeping your decisions consistent, and fueling your success.

If you have already created your Core Values, have you developed any helpful methods of arriving at your value statements or seen a transformation in your company after creating them?  Feel free to share your stories and advice with us.