Does your organization have company values? Do you know what they are? How often do you refer to them?
If you can’t answer these questions definitively, it’s probably time to review them. If your company doesn’t have clearly defined values, then there’s never been a better time to develop them and articulate them to your organization.
In their simplest form, company values are the principles and philosophies that drive your business. They aren’t meant to live in a drawer to be dusted off every now and again. They should drive decision making every day.
Company values should be referred to when making strategic decisions both big and small, from deciding to pursue a corporate merger or selecting new office space, to deciding on where to spend your next company outing. Values should play a key role in your hiring process as they can help you find the best candidate for the job not only based on qualifications, but also on cultural fit. Values can also help guide your organization through a crisis, serving as a guiding road map when difficult decisions need to be made.
We’ve all faced a number of challenges in the last year, with many presenting opportunities to lean into our values. From navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to remote work, to addressing racial equality and social justice issues, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands and organizations to remain on the sidelines when it comes to the issues that matter most to people.
We saw a prime example of an organization following its values when Major League Baseball recently decided to pull the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta over a new Georgia voting law that critics say will make it harder for people of color to vote. In his official statement on the decision, Commissioner Robert Manfred noted that “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box” and that “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game.”
The decision to relocate the game has been viewed by many as a watershed moment for baseball, which is largely known for its traditionalism. The league has generally avoided taking a stance on divisive issues like race and social activism. Facing mounting pressure from political activists and corporate partners alike, Manfred was forced to make a tough decision and, in doing so, he ultimately went back to the league’s values to make the call.
At NST, we live our company values every day. They are posted in our offices and listed at the top of our meeting agendas. More importantly, they constantly guide our decision making, from determining fit with a prospective client, to recommending the best strategies to support client goals, or helping our partners navigate a crisis situation. As an agency, we make a point to be clear about what we stand for and have always found the most successful and longest lasting client partnerships are rooted in shared values.
Does your organization need to think through its values? Wondering where to start? NST would be happy to be your partner in identifying and articulating the unique values of your company. Give us a call to get started today.