A Little Book of Big Values
In September this year, Fluro held its first ever company day. It was the perfect time to share the news that in spite of the disruption caused by the pandemic, we’ve gone from strength to strength. But there was another, more important piece of news to share: the birth of our company values. Whether it was the scattering effects of the pandemic or our rapid expansion, we needed to consolidate our vision and our strategy. We also needed some new tools to help steer a larger team.
A small, black book with gold lettering and beautiful illustrations, Fluro’s Little Book of Big Values represents an important milestone – the moment we formally defined the ‘why’ behind our brand.
Why Are Company Values Important?
Establishing a set of values is tantamount to staking your claim in the world. They also help give your staff a reason for coming into work each day.
Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl was the first theorise that the search for meaning is the most powerful motivating force in humans. Unlike his Nietzsche and Freud, Frankl felt that our need to create meaning was a stronger urge than the desire for power or pleasure.
A pay cheque is important, let’s not pretend it isn’t. But money isn’t the reason people like coming to work each day. Whether it’s swiping groceries or saving lives, each and every one of us needs to feel like our work is meaningful. Authors of The Why of Work, Dave and Wendy Ulrich, told the Harvard Business Review that “neither position nor salary seem to have much to do with finding meaning in work.”
Create a Sense of Belonging
Having a set of beliefs or values imparts meaning to the tasks and goals of working life. They also provides the framework to stimulate a sense of belonging. In her Forbes article, Tracy Brower used the psychological fall-out of the pandemic to highlight the importance of belonging. According to the author humans are hardwired for connection. The pandemic wreaked such havoc with our mental health because it took this vital factor away from us.
Belonging to a group is intrinsic to social identity. Belonging is achieved when you share a set of beliefs, because it results in a feeling of unity. But Jeanine Stewart, senior consultant to the Neuroleadership Institute says that being surrounded by people doesn’t guarantee a sense of belonging. To help your employees feel part of your team, you have to let them know what those shared beliefs are. But in order to share a set of beliefs or values, you have to identify them first.
Research shows that a strong sense of belonging can be a more powerful motivator than money. When people feel connected to their colleagues, the incentive to perform is higher. They’re driven more by their desire to maintain status in the group than by their pay check.
The Why Behind your Brand
Company values can also benefit your bottom line. In a previous post we explain how values help to harness the power of WHY . Author and TED speaker Simon Sinek believes that ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’ If you don’t know why you are in business, how will your customers be able to?
Performance management platform Plai claims that customers choose companies whose values they can relate to. “Study after study shows that companies with strong values have better financial performance, customer and employee satisfaction, and grow faster.”