What are core values and why are they so value-able?

There is a lot of talk these days about Core Values, but what exactly are they?

Let’s do three things today:

  • Define Core Values and look at some examples.
  • Determine why you need to know your core values.
  • Discuss how they relate to your workplace.

Core Values refers to the root beliefs that guide a person’s or organization’s behavior, decisions, and goals.  Examples include integrity, fairness, family, excellence, and faith.

Your core values are like your DNA; they don’t change, they are who you are.

It is important to be aware of your core values and have a short list you will guard against compromise.

The benefits of knowing your core values:

  • Decision making becomes easier and has more satisfactory results.
  • You build consistency in your character.
  • You become a stable role model for those in your care.

What would you say are your top five values? If you are struggling after your first three or four, take a values test. There are many online values tests, but here is one that will take only a few minutes.

Personal Values Test

Other questions you can ask yourself to reveal your highest values include:

  • What news topics create the most emotional response for you?
  • What do you want your legacy to be?

These are worthy thoughts to consider, my friend, because they define your purpose and character.

Now, how do your core values relate to your work? The question was just answered. Your work ideally should align with your purpose and character, or you will experience tension at some point.

Some corporate core values might include safety, integrity, and excellence. The proof that these are truly their values is shown when the value is pitted against another value, such as the financial bottom line versus safety. Will the company invest in safety equipment or shut down an operation under unsafe conditions? Or will they press forward for the sake of profit?

Businesses are more and more making their core values public. The goal should be to work for a company whose core values align with yours. Do not rush past their list when applying for a job.  Take time to study their list of core values and compare it with yours.

In the interview, do they bring up these core values and ask you specific questions related to them? If they do, you can be assured they are vetting their employees, which is a good thing.  

Ask questions yourself! Because when your core values align with your employer’s values, now you are a team that can make a difference in the world.

-Jan Jones

Watch this video for an inside look at how one business owner is making a difference living and teaching his company’s core values.