If you really want to keep your employees happy and give them the positive workplace environment and culture that they deserve, then you should give careful thought to developing a meaningful set of principles that the entire team can “buy into”. What’s most important is that you and your executive team adopt these principles through your actions, not just words. In fact, it’s possible if you change your behavior to reflect your principles, you don’t need to constantly share what they are with your team for them to resonate and persist in their influence—your actions and your team’s actions will simply begin to transform the culture of your organization. In order to create these principles—and effectively implement them—you should consider the following tips:
1. Determine Your Values
First of all, before you can even consider creating a set of beneficial company values and principles, you must first determine your own values as a person and an entrepreneur. Particularly when you are first starting out, it can be difficult to know what you value most, especially as an entrepreneur. You can learn a lot about yourself when confronted with decisions and decision-making. As you continue to make decisions and reflect on those decisions, s, you will get to a point where you can articulate your values as an entrepreneur. Over time, you’ll build your team with people that share similar values and reinforce those values by simply living by them.
2. Clearly Articulate Your Company’s Values
Once you have established your own values as an entrepreneur, you can work to integrate them into your company’s framework of belief and behavior. Among the things to consider when defining your company’s principles are:
- Who are your customers?
- What value are you creating for your customers?
- What environment best aligns with those customers?
Overall, you need to clearly define and understand what your business is in order to optimize its long-term success. As you do this, it is important to focus on a long-term structure and a culture that will foster sustainable progress.
3. Ensure Company Principles Are Actionable and Specific
After you have distinctly articulated the values that will serve as the basis for your company culture and eventually inspire your team, the next step is to elaborate on them to create principles that are actionable and specific. It is almost like developing an algorithm that all employees can use as guidance when making daily decisions at work. If you properly articulate, understand, and propagate these principles, they should eventually permeate everything your company does—from the emails employees send to the decisions they make,the work they produce, and even the tone they set when communicating internally and with stakeholders. In order to best enable this, you should exhibit and encourage direct, honest communication. Over time, if your principles are actionable, specific, and effective enough—and all communication within the company is direct and honest—everyone will have bought into those principles.
4. Live by Your Own Principles
Of course, values and principles are great in theory, but if you don’t have examples of positive behaviors that take root in those beliefs—and you don’t reward such excellent actions from your employees—it will be difficult to keep teams motivated to work in unison according to your company’s principles. That is why you need to set the terms of behavior. They should be clear, and it should be understood that:
- The positive behavior delineated will always be rewarded, encouraging an affirmative community at work.
- Any negative behavior described will have definitive consequences, discouraging a harmful workplace environment.
But it is not enough to set the terms of proper value-based behavior and reward those who act in harmony with them; you yourself must also live by those principles. If you are not living by your company’s principles, neither will your employees. It is as simple as that. Actions will always speak louder than words. Everyone at the company must buy into the principles. Those principles aren’t mere vanity; they are critical guidelines that help the company succeed every day. If you live by them, then so will your team.
5. Inspire Great People to Do Great Work
In 2020, the workplace dynamics have changed dramatically. Whereas for many years, previous generations believed that “boss” and employee interactions must be restricted to something contentious, almost adversarial, with the “boss” often leading by fear and micromanagement, these days employees want and oftentimes expect empowerment. If they are given a sense of purpose and freedom by company leadership, they will feel more invested in their work. As your teams take more pride in what they do for the company, they will feel valued and appreciated such that they can grow with the company. In this way, each of them will know that they are more than their role. This helps them feel welcomed into your company’s culture and more inspired to do great work. They will take such pride in and ownership of their work for the company that it will instill in them a passion to always do great work, helping the business succeed. And ultimately, that is the most important thing anyone could ever ask of their employees.