Once you become an entrepreneur, there is more than YOU and your product to be taken care of. You have employees who you need to pay and, most importantly, who you need to nurture. Why nurture? Because the truth is, you do not afford to change your team every 3 months. It will cost you money, time and quality.
So here you are, building this brand around your product or service, having a team and starting making some decent money. And one day, two of your team members start a fight over a professional matter. What do you do? What do you say? Do you have any values they can relate to? Do you? No, you don’t, because you are a CEO with barely any time to have a girlfriend, let alone company values.
Where do you start defining company values?
For company values to be truly meaningful, employees need to buy into them. Yet, many leaders think they alone should define these values and then pass them on to employees.
William Vanderbloemen, founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group, advises entrepreneurs to define values early on with employees. Alexandru Paduraru, the CEO of Creative Tim, sat down with the team, on a Friday night, and discussed with every one of them about the things that made them happy, the behaviors they respect the most and their work expectations.
So the starting point in establishing company values is just getting real about expectations. Value is not something utopic, unrealistic. We should not aspire to absorb a value into our own system but to first search it within you and then share it with the group.
How do you stick to your company values?
Leading by example. You know what they say, a fish always rots from the head down. Sticking to something means practicing it, not just talking about it. Do you value sincerity? Tell your employees the truth. Do you value quality? Treat your clients the same way you treat your employees. Do you value learning and development? You, as a CEO, start reading.