Small Business Owners Take Note: Employees Value Values
Lots of people's faces made of paper

Here are five reasons why small business owners can benefit by practicing good values.


Amelia has been working for a small business for two years. In her role in customer relations, she knows she is supposed to keep the customers happy.

Last month, Daniela started working as her new manager. In a conversation over café con leche, she asked Amelia, “so tell me Amelia are you fulfilled in your position?”

To which Amelia responded with an enthusiastic, “Oh yes, very!” “That’s great to hear! What company values do you feel align with yours that help make your job easier?” “Um. Well. I never heard about any values. I just read books on my role and know customers are important to keep, so we can all keep a job.”

At that moment, Daniela knew one of her top priorities would have to be to get the company’s values more visible to employees and help the team connect the dots on how they fit and how they can help customers best.

Values was going to have to be first and center.

Most employees value values. Most employees don’t know that is the term but they surely know when something is helping support a vision, shape a culture or tell a story of what a company thinks is important.

They value knowing what they are and being able to know if the company is a match for their heart and not just their financial needs.

Working on core values which is the identity of a company helps your business in more ways than you might imagine,

Here are five ways values help your business:

1.  Values help You Hire better.

Searching for great employees and keeping them is a major human resource issue.

One that is now being outsourced more and more. Mostly because companies simply are not hiring well. They hire too fast. They hire the wrong fit and they keep employees too long when they’re not right.

Understanding that everyone has values coming in the door and being able to express your company’s values on the spot will help you find the person whose values most aligns to your companies.

65% isn’t good enough alignment. 95% or more is what you are looking for!

In addition, knowing your values helps you onramp new prospective employees better giving them an out if they feel strongly their values don’t align with yours.

All better for you in the long run.  If you google “values based interviewing” you will see about 12M+ hits. Trust me, it’s a thing!

2.  Values Help You Fire Faster.

When someone does not fit the culture you are trying to build, you have to let them go.

They do more damage to your organization by staying than leaving. The saying goes, “Be slow to hire, fast to fire” spreading negative vibes about your organization because they should not have been hired in the first place, is a mercy gift for both you and the person.

In his blog, Mike Kotsis shares how he uses a People Analyzer to determine next steps with people on his team.

Who can stay but is in the “wrong seat”, who gets it and who needed to be let go.

3.  Values Help You Tell Your Story.

Knowing, living, and rewarding those who support your values help everyone at every level of the company tell the story of why you exist and what you expect to contribute to the world.

Values help employees develop a strong conviction for what your company stands for and creates better and more informed company ambassadors. Darcy Jacobsen shared in an HR blog post, how great recognition of those who embody company values ends up being great stories for the company but also give a clear message to employees about what is rewarded.

4.  Values Help Employees Engage.

The authors of the book, The Power of Thanks state that when someone says their organizational values are known and understood, that person is 51 times more likely to be ‘fully engaged’ than someone who works at an organization without values that are known.

Engaged employees are long-lasting employees.

5.  Values help You Close Better.

No matter the type of business you have, you are selling something. A product. A service.

A dream. You need people to want to invest in what you are selling. They make part of their decision because of the values they believe your company has. Many companies have been training their sales teams to close sales with value based questions.

There is a myriad of things that small business leaders feel they should focus on in the tyranny of the urgent lifestyle.

But if you haven’t taken the time to work on company values (the back bone of company culture), it’s not too late to get started!

It will make all the difference in the long run…more sales, better profits, longer term employees and a happier you (CEO)!

Related articles:

Utilizing Cultura and 5 Values for Small Business Success

What is Your Company’’s Reason? 

What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean for Business?

Here They Are…the 5 Ways to Improve Company Culture


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