Defining Your Company’s Core Values


What do you want your company to be defined by? What traits do you want your employees to possess when they carry out their daily work. Those are just some of the questions you should ask yourself as you’re working to define your company’s core values.

The core values of your organization are the foundation of the work your employees perform and how they conduct themselves. While their work may change day-to-day, the core values are constant.

As a leader of your company, defining your company’s core values is a process that can help guide the behavior of everybody in your organization.

Steps to Defining Company Core Values

Who’s involved?

Who are people in your organization that understand what makes the company go? This will obviously differ from company to company, but think critically about this step. Is it team managers? Is it the longest-tenured employees? Is it a combination of both?

Think about who embodies what your company is all about - and who will embody the core values that your group defines.


After deciding upon the group that will aid you in defining your company’s core values, it’s time to put your heads together. Schedule a meeting at least a few days in advance and ask your group to come to the meeting prepared with:

  • What’s personally important to them in the workplace?

  • What’s important for the company to be successful?

Remember - this is a brainstorming session, so encourage your group members to speak up with whatever is on their mind. Be sure to write everything down, as it’ll be vital for the next step.

Find themes

After your brainstorming session is complete and you have everything written down, look for themes in what your group brainstormed. Are there certain traits that everybody found important? Were there traits that were very similar that could be combined into one core value?

Write down the words/themes that were recurring throughout your brainstorming session.

Finalize values

After looking at the recurring themes that your group came up with, how can those themes be defined by a core value? For example, if there is a recurring theme of setting expectations and living up to them, your core value may be accountability.

Again, these values are the traits you want your employees to embody, so don’t take this step lightly.

Put Core Values Into Action

Where a lot of companies fall short is that they define these great company core values - and then they never do anything with them. Defining the core values was a big priority - and then they are never discussed again.

Put your core values into action by:

  • Team meeting reflections - Talk about if you’re living up to the established core values. Give examples of team members that brought the core value to life in the workplace.

  • Discuss in onboarding - Help your new staff members understand the core values they’ll be expected to embody.

  • Assess in recruitment - When you’re going through the recruitment of new employees, give them an assessment to see if they’ll be a culture fit with your core values in mind.

  • Performance management - Include your company’s core values in performance evaluations and let employees know if they’re living up to the core values you’ve established.

Your company core values are vital to every aspect of your business.

Want to talk with an HR expert about developing core values at your company? Chat with one today.

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