Company values should be on every business owner’s radar, no matter what size or stage your business is at.
They’re one of the first things you should put together when you launch your business or start hiring people.
But how do you know when it’s time to revisit your values? Over the last year or so, we’ve revisited and revamped ours here. So, we’re going to share how we knew it was time to revisit them and share some top tips on getting it right.
To start with we’ll briefly touch on why you should have values, along with how you can define them – in case you’re at the very early stage of your business development!
Why should my business have values?
Your business should be underpinned by a set of values that capture exactly why and how you do what you do. They should reflect your beliefs as founders and set a framework for the behavioural norms you would want and expect from your team.
They are an integral part of defining your culture. They’re pretty much the foundation for what your company cares about most. You need to lay your foundations before you can start building!
Setting clear values will help your team understand what’s expected of them. They’ll also act as a guide for how they should operate, and will help promote positive behaviours and actions.
How should I define my values?
There are several ways you can define your values. If you already have a team, you can involve them and ask for input, but if you’re just starting out and you don’t yet have a team, there’s a few things you can ask yourself.
Where do you want to be and how will you get there? Your values should underpin how you’ll succeed. Do you want everyone to be transparent? Hardworking? Passionate?
What matters most to you and what do you pride yourself on doing? Your business’ values should reflect this.
When should I revisit my values?
On a regular basis
It’s a good idea to check if your values still accurately represent and set the principles for your business on a regular basis. You can decide when would be best for your business, but we’ve worked with business owners who reflect every year, every couple of years or every five.
You could do this every year as part of your reflection and planning processes. We regularly review our values. We knew it was time for Blu Sky, as the historic values no longer sensibly defined our day-to-day activities or overall goals.
Whilst the underlying emotions and ethics remained the same, the business had also changed and grown from the time we last reviewed our values, which brings us to our next points.
You plan to recruit
If you’re planning on recruiting and growing your team, this is a great time to revisit your values.
Revisiting before you recruit (and if you decide to update your values, getting your whole current team involved in the process) will ensure the correct core values are in place, ready for new team members to grasp from day one.
You’ve expanded your service or product offering
If you set your values when you offered one service or product and now your business offers several, it may be time for a refresh. Your values may have originally been set around your core product or service, but now that’s changed, your values might also need to.
Your business has changed direction
Similar to the above point, if your business has changed direction altogether, it’s a good idea to revisit your initial values and reflect on whether they’re still accurate.
Because chances are, they won’t be!
A period of change can be an excellent time for reflection and planning in general! Navigating the pandemic and adapting to different ways of working also helped us realise that it was time to revisit and update our values.