The organizational culture of any company is the personality created by the company’s behaviours, attitudes, and values. This personality, in turn, creates a positive public image for the company, attracts and retains great talent, and helps to build a lasting relationship between employees, stakeholders, customers, and vendors.

However, a good organizational culture doesn’t just spring up from nowhere. Instead, organizational culture requires an intentional and thoughtful identification of the company’s values. Hence it is important to establish values in a company right from inception. Here are steps to establish values in your company and build a strong company culture:

Evaluate Your Current Organizational Culture

The first step involved in establishing value in your company is evaluating your current organizational culture. This is not what you want your company to represent or what you think your company represents, instead it must be exactly what your company represent, where it stands and what it stands for. You can get this by finding out what the people (those external and internal to your company) say about your company – your organizational identity. This can be easily achieved by interviewing employees, clients, vendors, and leadership team, or by carrying out an online survey or focus group discussion asking them what words they would use to describe your company.

Review Your Strategic Business Plan

The next step involves thinking about your company’s future plan. Where do you see your company in the next 1, 3 or 5 years? Meet with your executive team to develop a plan for revenue, expansion, production, staff, and growth, etc.  This will help you to describe where you’re heading on your values process.

Determine the Organizational Culture Needed to Achieve Your Plan

Now that you have evaluated your current organizational culture and reviewed your strategic business plan, you can begin to look at your company’s values in that context.

For example, when reviewing your strategic business plan, you need to answer this question: “to move from point A to point B, what organizational culture do you need to achieve?” An answer to this question will help you to consider the various personalities, educational backgrounds, qualifications, and skills you should have in your employees.

Taking Starbuck for example, diversity, customer service and quality products are Starbucks’ values. And whenever you walk into any Starbucks store, you should certainly expect a diverse staff, happy customers and delicious drinks.

Decide If Your Values Need to Shift

By now, you have known your organizational culture and the various talents you need. The next step involves finalizing your new or revising your old set of values. Consider the results from your initial online survey or focus group discussion and decide if they are the values your company needs to reach its strategic goals. You can make these values into a pack of Values Cards and ask your executive team to pick those that they identify with your company.

Define What Your Chosen Values Really Mean

Company’s values are not just words painted on the wall, No. Company’s value determines clearly what specific processes and behaviours are expected of the employees at work to observe these values. Hence, the values must be clearly communicated to and understood by the employees.

For instance, if your company’s value is loyalty, you must explain to every staff whom does this loyalty refer to? Does it mean loyalty to customers? Does it mean loyalty within the employees or loyalty to the executive? Every member of your company should have a clear understanding of how exactly to put your company’s values into action.

Integrate These Values into Organizational Processes

Now, that you have set your company’s newly defined values, you would have to incorporate them into all the necessary operational areas, which include the recruitment process. During the recruiting process, always ask candidates about their personal values and explain the company’s value to them. More so, always align your company’s values with employee compensation and performance reviews.

On the final note, having values for your company will not only help you in recruiting the right candidates, but will also help you to build an organizational culture that is genuine, engaging, and impactful.