Why You Need a Values Statement

Have you ever worked at a company where the decisions seemed as though they were spur-of-the-moment and without any unifying reason for the decisions?  This is the kind of company where decisions are reactionary in nature and often come back to haunt.

Sound Decisions Have Something Supporting Them

In an earlier post, The Business Plan – Hold On to the Napkin, we looked at how a shortened version of a business plan identifies 3 things:

Vision, Values, and Purpose

We looked at the Vision Statement and its benefits in another post, Why You Need a Vision Statement.  In order to act consistently on the vision and avoid reactionary decisions that don’t support it over the long haul, we need to know our values.

A Simple Definition of Values

Simply put, Values are a set of statements identifying the principles by which we live and operate.  They could be fundamental things like:

  • Integrity – All work must be performed with the highest degree of honesty.  Anything less is dishonorable.
  • Work/Life Balance – There should be a balance between family, work, community, and play as all are vital.

The two above are a portion of the values statement for AimCFO.  Your company values may look considerably different from those at AimCFO.  But, they should reflect things that you consider too important to be left to chance, and they should be communicated to employees to be used as a basis for decision making.  By the way, I do hope integrity is included somewhere in your list.

What Does a Values Statement Do for You?

There are several areas where a values statement is of strong benefit.  Just a few of these are:

  • It can be used to communicate to customers what matters to you and how that will benefit them.
  • If a prospective employee is uncomfortable with it that should be a hint.
  • Decision making is simplified by asking, “Does this reflect our values?”
  • It helps keep employees on the same page and aids in resolving conflicts.

These are just a few of the benefits of a values statement.  Think about how you might benefit from developing you own list of values.

Some Final Thoughts

In general, your Values Statement is unchanging.  That is why it is considered a fixed standard from which you do not deviate.  That in itself can simplify life and keep you and your company out of trouble.  Unchanging does not mean unrefined, however.  You may find after some time that you need to reword one of your values statements to add clarity.  You may even find that one values statement can be combined with another for simplicity.  However, these are refinement, not wholesale changes. And don’t forget to post these in a prominent place as a constant reminder.

Should you like to know more, contact us at: AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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4 Responses to “Why You Need a Values Statement”

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