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Core Values

Harness the Power of Your Core Values to Motivate

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What are core values?

In essence, the organisational culture collectively reflects team members’ thoughts, behaviours, shared values, and responses to various stimuli. Notably, 63% of consumers express a strong preference for patronising companies whose purpose aligns with their values and beliefs. In some instances, they are willing to go the extra mile to avoid businesses that contradict their convictions, underscoring the profound internal and external impact of a company’s core values.

Why core values are important?

Core values, the foundational beliefs that encapsulate the essence of an organisation, serve as a guiding beacon on its journey. They are not mere decorative phrases but rather the bedrock that shapes the organisation’s vision and presentation to the external world. These intrinsic values play a crucial role in attracting and retaining top talent who align with the organisation’s mission and contribute significantly to its success. Consider core values as the DNA of your organisation, defining its ethos, resonating with employees, and shaping its perception in the external environment. They form the unyielding core of your identity, embodying your present principles and future aspirations.

When your organisation’s values align with its strategy and your employees’ value set, it unlocks a multitude of benefits, including increased job satisfaction, reduced turnover, enhanced teamwork, effective communication, heightened contributions, and more successful negotiations. A recent study revealed that COOs with low values alignment required a significant 40% salary increase to match the job retention rate of those with high values alignment. In essence, a values-based company operates more efficiently and at a lower cost. By deeply embedding values within the DNA of your organisation, you can unleash unparalleled motivation that propels your organisation to unprecedented heights of success.

Leveraging Core Values to Inspire Employees

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the business world, the importance of communicating a company’s values — the lifeblood, is often overlooked. For organisations to truly thrive, effective communication of these values is essential. Research shows that companies with effective communication practices are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers. An astonishing 97% of employees believe communication profoundly impacts their task effectiveness.

Companies must first understand what matters to their workforce to harness the power of core values for employee inspiration. It is crucial to seek their insights on how well the company’s operations align with its value system. Establishing core values should be an inclusive effort involving employees at all levels. Developing a robust values communication plan, with employee engagement at its core, is critical. Often, executives overlook the importance of actively seeking employee input and consensus before finalising the values.

Simultaneously, creating a purpose-driven work environment begins with putting people at the centre of the culture.

As we navigate the ever-changing work landscape, understanding the needs of your people becomes indispensable when designing programs and processes. Top performance in such a dynamic culture rarely happens by chance; it is deliberately crafted. The journey is multifaceted, encompassing everything from onboarding to providing constructive feedback and recognition. A well-thought-out plan, rooted in intentionality and alignment, ensures smooth assimilation.

Let’s take inspiration from DTE’s success story. Their leaders wholeheartedly embraced their purpose, seamlessly incorporating it into onboarding, training programs, corporate meetings, and culture-building activities. The authenticity of their purpose sparked a transformative journey. Engagement scores soared, the company received the Gallup Great Workplace Award for five consecutive years, and its financial performance followed suit, with DTE’s stock price tripling between 2008 and 2017.

Core Values in Action

Putting core values into action can have a profound impact on the working environment, influencing various aspects such as recognition, rewards, conflict resolution, and teamwork.

Employee recognition programs harness the power of positive reinforcement, a fundamental principle of human psychology.

Positive reinforcement states that behaviours that are rewarded are more likely to be repeated. By aligning recognition programs with core values, organisations can incentivise employees to embody those values and establish a positive association between desired behaviours and their outcomes.

An essential component of values-based recognition programs is the inclusion of rewards. Effective recognition programs allow for the customisation of the rewards catalogue to align with the company’s culture. For example, a company that values innovation can offer funding options for in-house projects or technology upgrades as rewards.

Employees who demonstrate alignment with core values earn points that can be invested in projects they find promising. Similarly, a company prioritising sustainability can provide a rewards catalogue featuring eco-friendly products or services. Employees can use their earned points to purchase these items or contribute to environmental initiatives.

By integrating core values with recognition and rewards, organisations can drive desired behaviours and outcomes, creating a culture of reinforcement and appreciation. This approach fosters employee engagement, reinforces company values, and contributes to a positive work environment.

Cultivating Core Values in the Workplace

As organisations grow and progress, it becomes essential to assess their adherence to core values on a regular, ongoing basis.

Are the organisation’s actions aligned with its initial intentions?

Do the path and destination still align with the original vision?

Refining core values requires introspection and questioning to determine if any adjustments or additions are necessary as the organisation evolves. Ensuring that core values remain aligned with actions strengthens client trust and reinforces internal managerial credibility.

Additionally, refining or redefining core values based on feedback from team members can help maintain focus on priorities or reshape them as the organisation expands.

Training sessions should be initiated to embed core values throughout the organisation, clarifying their meaning and how they translate into expected behaviours. This training equips employees with the knowledge and skills needed to embody these values in their daily routines.

Incorporating redefined core values into personal development sessions is crucial when introducing them to an existing team. This approach helps employees connect these values to their current work performance, providing a platform for growth and self-improvement that aligns with the new values.

Finally, empowering employees to embrace an organisation’s core values establishes a harmonious and value-driven workplace.


Core values are an organisation’s foundation, significantly influencing motivation and shaping leadership. They go beyond abstract ideals, actively shaping the company culture, influencing how recognition and rewards are distributed, and even impacting conflict resolution and teamwork. However, it is essential to reassess and refine these values as the organisation evolves periodically. Equally important is empowering employees to embrace and embody these values in their daily work. By consistently aligning actions with core values, organisations can cultivate a purpose-driven culture that enhances internal dynamics and resonates externally, earning clients’ trust and driving sustainable growth. The power of core values is a catalyst for unlocking the true potential of an organisation.

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