MaRS Library Why write a corporate value statement?
Corporate value statements positively impact employee recruitment and financial performance.
A publically accessible corporate value statement can:
- Help attract the right people to your company
- Act as a branding mechanism to tell stakeholders about your company
- Serve as the cornerstone of your corporate ideology
- Motivate and reinforce productive behaviours inside your company
In 2004, Booz Allen Hamilton and The Aspen Institute completed a global study of corporate values. They surveyed senior executives at 365 companies in 30 countries. They found that the vast majority of corporate executives felt that company values strongly affected employee recruitment and retention.
The study also indicated that companies with superior financial performance emphasized values such as commitment to employees, a drive to succeed, and adaptability far more than did their less financially-stellar peers.
In addition, the study showed that high-performing companies had greater success in linking their corporate values to the way they ran their businesses. More of these companies reported that their management practices were effective in fostering values that influenced growth.
A well-formulated corporate value statement, aligned with business practices, can positively influence financial performance. This effect is enhanced when corporate values include result-oriented value dimensions such as “success.”
Creating a corporate value statement: Best practices
There is no template for an effective corporate value statement, so follow these basic best practices:
Create corporate values that translate into measurable objectives.
“Our customers come first” exemplifies this because you can measure customer satisfaction over time. Whether you define “leadership” as market dominance, innovation or financial performance, you can quantify it. Motivate activity and drive growth by using corporate values that align with your company’s strategic goals.
Increase the effectiveness of corporate value statements by keeping them concise and focused.
Making your top value priorities specific and succinct will ensure they are easier to remember and reiterate.
Assemble the executive team and make creating the statement a group activity.
Use a whiteboard to brainstorm a short list of values, a descriptive sentence or any other brief but creative way to communicate your company’s important values.
Maintain high visibility for your corporate value statement.
High visibility ensures its continued influence on employees.
Corporate values can have a powerful influence on how employees perceive your company, and the attitude with which they approach their work.
Make these values explicit early, by creating a corporate value statement, to aggressively foster a positive and productive workplace.
The Aspen Institute and Booz Allen Hamilton. (2005, January 1). Deriving Value from Corporate Values. Retrieved November 16, 2009.