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Culture Wars: A Company's Values Are Essential in Keeping Talent

by James Canada

Today’s job market is as competitive as ever. The only way to attract and retain the talent that will make your company successful is to differentiate yourself from your competition and make your business a desirable place to work.

Compensation packages of salaries, benefits, signing bonuses, and other perks are nice, but they all tend to look alike, and they can quickly become inadequate as the employee grows and wants to advance. Perhaps the best way to engender the type of loyalty and dedication that will keep a star employee driving your company forward is to build a positive and productive culture.

Culture is the atmosphere in which your employees work. It’s rooted in your company’s core values, which essentially encompass your professional and personal belief system. A fat paycheck and a company car are nice, but ultimately, true professionals want to know that they are investing their time and talents in something bigger than themselves. The foundation of your company’s culture, the conduit through which your employees will engage and plug into your vision and mission, is your core values.

Core values must be considered when you are composing your company’s mission statement, and they must be in lockstep support of that overall vision. Most employees crave structure and purpose in the workplace, and having clearly defined values helps promote your desired company culture.
So, what are some examples of core values?

• Customer: Customers must come first. Their satisfaction is key to repeat business and strategic partnership. It’s why you’re in business — and why your best employees do what they do.

• Employees: Of course, the best way to ensure unparalleled customer satisfaction is to recruit, develop and retain the best employees in your industry.

• Ownership: The best way to recruit and retain quality employees is to give them a stake in the business and encourage them to think like owners in their actions and decisions.

• Relationships: Clients should be viewed as partners, deserving of fair and honest dealings and a mutual commitment to provide the highest possible standards of products, services or deliverables.

• Quality: Dedication to quality and continued improvement in the services or goods your company delivers not only ensures profitable growth, but also professional growth of your workforce.

• Integrity: Impeccable standards of business conduct are the basis of the company’s reputation.

• Financial Performance: Money isn’t everything — but profits are essential to financing a company’s growth and ability to take care of its employees and shareholders.

• Civic Responsibility: Through corporate and individual participation, volunteerism and donation across a broad range of civic endeavors, we become productive and responsible members of the community that supports us.

By no means is this list exhaustive. However, I believe that each of these eight core values is vital to a company’s success, both in terms of how the company can operate in its own best interests and how you can create a thriving culture that employees want to be a part of throughout their careers.

James H. Canada is managing partner/CEO for Alliance Technologies LLC, ITEN mentor and author of “Corporate to Entrepreneur: Strategies for Success.” Contact Jim at james.canada@alliancetechnologiesllc.com, 636-734-2337 or www.alliancetechnologiesllc.com.

Submitted 218 days ago
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