How to Efficiently Embed Your Brand Values in Your Work Culture

Brand values are in the spotlight at the moment. It’s easy to write keywords on a piece of paper and use these in your SEO and messaging, but if that’s all your business is doing, your attempts will crumble at the foundations. People want to see values in action, impacting every part of your company’s […]

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Brand values are in the spotlight at the moment. It’s easy to write keywords on a piece of paper and use these in your SEO and messaging, but if that’s all your business is doing, your attempts will crumble at the foundations. People want to see values in action, impacting every part of your company’s work culture, from how you keep your call logs to the causes you support. 

But how do you embed your values? This requires active input. Simply letting employees know what they are isn’t going to set those values in motion company-wide. Likewise, customers will quickly see through slapdash attempts at instilling values. These have to truly represent your company and be evident in every interaction. 

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What Are Brand Values?

We hear this phrase thrown about a lot, especially in management circles, but we don’t always grasp what it means at its core. Brand values are the beliefs and standards of a company, the things they stand up for, and how they want to be seen. 

There are lots of values that come up repeatedly but, unless you’re willing to stand by them, there’s no point copying just because everyone else values them. Buyers will quickly see through this.

Values can set apart a brand or raise its profile with certain customer groups. Particularly with modern buyers, values can make or break a purchase, especially depending on whether these are followed through or used as a facade. 

Buyers are more socially conscious than ever, and this translates into buying patterns and what is expected from a brand. With this in mind, let’s look at how to efficiently embed brand values in your work culture.

1. Identify Your Brand Values

It’s good to check the groundwork is in place before launching into action based on something you’re not 100 percent clear on. Start by identifying your brand values. Your company might already have these in place, but it’s worth checking they still line up with the business you run. Alternatively, you might not have ever identified specific values, so now is a great time to do it. 

Aspirational values can be great to have, giving direction and helping you decide where your company is headed. However, you must be willing to act on these as, if you don’t, you’ll seem inauthentic, which isn’t great for integrity. 

Generally, your values should represent what your company holds in high esteem. Select three main values which you want to shine through, whether these are eco-friendliness or the embracing of diversity.

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2. Communicate These Values

Values are no good hidden out of sight in a document that’s gathering dust. Everyone in the company needs to be clear on what your brand values are. Make sure these are visible in company newsletters, one-on-one briefings, on your website, your intranet system – everywhere! 

Be sure to explain what you mean by these. The vocabulary used for values can be abstract, so it’s sometimes unclear how it applies to your company. If you value ‘sustainability’, make it obvious what you mean. This could be having a minimal impact on the environment, a company structure that’s self-reliant and perpetuates itself, or even an ethos of investing in employees. Communicating your meaning is more important than value buzzwords.

3. Embed Your Values

Hopefully, by this point, the majority of your company knows what your values are and what they mean. However, this knowledge doesn’t always embed those values into the day-to-day running of your company and its interactions with customers. This requires a conscious effort to act on them from all members of your team, from those in digital operations to communications.

There are many ways of doing this, which suit a variety of values and styles of company. We’ve listed a few approaches to experiment with to integrate your values into the heart of what you do. Don’t be afraid to try something new out or cast it aside if it doesn’t work with the values you have.

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Leading by Example

If employees can’t see management embodying your company values, they’ll have no reference point for what this looks like in action. Values such as honesty or caring for wellbeing can be demonstrated by those in senior positions being upfront about mistakes, taking defined breaks throughout the day, or empowering other employees to incorporate your values.

Training

Highlighting company values in training sessions is a great opportunity for employees to ask questions and get practical advice on how to bring these into everyday use. Even training that’s not specifically about your values can show how they underpin your work culture. GDPR training, safeguarding, or training on how do you record a phone call can all touch on values such as high-quality service or a commitment to customers.

Rewarding Value-led Behaviours

Where you see brand values being embraced and embedded, take time to celebrate and reward this. People are more likely to do things if they think someone will notice, and highlighting value-led behaviors can inspire other employees to embed them in their practices too. Values like attention to detail or innovation, seen through imaginative sales pitches and new solutions in the workplace, are great opportunities to celebrate.

Value-based Hiring 

Your employees should embody your values wherever they are. You can ensure this by using brand values as criteria in the hiring process. When filtering applicants and interviewees, note values that align with your company’s. Hiring new employees to match your values, such as efficiency and commitment to the team, saves HR’s time and ensures new staff are a great fit.

External Communication

Communicate your values out to customers and potential buyers too. Whether in the products and services sold, the feedback asked for, or marketing, emphasize what your values mean to your company and how these influence your work culture. Customers love to know about your values, such as advocating for diversity and inclusion or supporting future generations through education.

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Make Your Work Culture All About Your Brand Values

Embedding your brand values shouldn’t be a one-off – if you truly want them to be part of your work culture, your company has to maintain and uphold them constantly. Values change over time, as does their meaning, so you may reevaluate them on occasion. 

It’s okay to change your values. This simply shows your company’s development and growth, and it’s good to be honest about moving your focus. At their heart, values are all about bettering your company and increasing its appeal as a retailer and employer.

Start embedding them into your company culture today.

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