Core Values are your foundation

What is the foundation of your business?

Personally I think that the foundation is the least-exciting part of a building. Who wants to think about the foundation when you could be buying furniture and choosing paint colors? Yet without a solid foundation, the rest of the building can collapse. We saw this happen last year with the collapse of the Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condo in Surfside, Florida, that killed 98 people. This collapse was caused by the long-term degradation of the reinforced concrete structural support that formed the foundation. Ignoring foundational issues can be deadly! (Source)

Core values are the foundational principles that guide your business decisions. Core values describe what you believe and outline how your business will be conducted. Core values can be a guiding light when you are faced with difficult circumstances and the need to make unexpected decisions.

Core values are the foundation of your business

The COVID-19 pandemic provided a great example of how company safety plans were built on core values. UPS’s core values include integrity, safety, and innovation. It’s no surprise that, during the pandemic, UPS was extremely focused on safety. They protected the health of their employees through increased cleaning practices and employee communication.

On the other end of the spectrum was Amazon. One of Amazon’s core values is frugality. It is not surprising that they are known to disregard employee health. The retail giant faced lawsuits for their lack of effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their warehouses.

Create Core Values that support your business

Follow the steps below to generate a list of your core values. These steps are described more fully in the article 6 Steps to Discover Your Core Values published by the career company Indeed.

  1. Write down your values. (Use the list in this article for inspiration.)
  2. Consider the people you most admire. Choose six people who you admire and figure out what values they embody. These people can range from famous people (such as Michelle Obama or Martin Luther King, Jr.) to personal acquaintances (such as your fifth grade art teacher or your favorite aunt).
  3. Consider your experiences. Examine both positive and painful experiences in your life, then relate these to your values. For instance, a painful experience being bullied might have taught you the importance of empathy and compassion.
  4. Categorize values into related groups. These three values — stability, reliability, and punctuality — can be grouped together.
  5. Identify the central theme. From the previous list, I would choose reliability to be a core value.
  6. Choose your top core values. Five to ten core values are optimal. (Source)

Core Values in Daily Operations

Core values form the foundation for all aspects of your business. A good example is Northwell Health, which is New York’s largest private employer and health care provider. In an unfortunate four-month period, both my husband and I ended up one of their  Emergency Rooms on Long Island. Despite the circumstances we both had excellent experiences. After getting to know their staff it became obvious that they embodied the core values of:

  • Patient Experience. Always put our patients first.
  • Integrity. Be professional, honest and protect privacy.
  • Teamwork. Work together and communicate effectively.
  • Innovation. Initiate change and promote creativity.
  • Caring. Be compassionate, respectful, and supportive.
  • Excellence. Pursue greatness with passion and promote quality. (Source)

Once you identify your core values, put them into practice. Use them as the basis for decision-making and to form a solid foundation for your business.

Related Blog Posts

Core Values are your foundation
Scroll to top