A core values list is central to outlining a workplace culture that everyone, including employees and customers, is on board with in order to inwardly and outwardly drive success.
Corporate culture is shaped through an organization’s core values and gives employees and customers something to relate to and helps build strong relationships. Core values have to be embraced by everyone working in the business, in order to ensure that the values are extended to the customer and factor into the company's relationship with the customer.
It is important to figure out what core values are central to your organization, name the key values, and develop a core value statement that can be your institution’s focus for your vision and mission statements.
Why You Need a Core Values List
Core values can determine business practices such as how to work with problematic customers, make hiring decisions, and create a healthy and inspiring workplace based on mutual respect.
Core values should be the basis of all company decisions and can be referred to for things such as onboarding, conflict resolution, and customer relationship management. They should also contribute to shaping an employee’s own core values and personal values.
Defining these core values for your customers sets expectations for them around what purchasing from or working with your company will be like. They'll have an idea of how you'll approach things like customer service, customer relations, complaints, and how you'll work to continually improve the digital customer experience. Your list of values should reassure customers that they are incapable of hands and that your level of dependability matches their expectations.
It's important that your employees are clear on the company's core values. Employees will often look to their employers to guide their personal development and personal growth within the company. Having a list of core values will help establish how employees can expect to grow within the company, as well as how the company will support the employee's well-being and set a healthy work/life balance.
It will also help establish the values that employees should develop within themselves while working for the company, such as punctuality, positivity, and self-improvement.
Examples of Core Values for Top Companies
To set your business values, use a discovery process that looks at companies that are considered great places to work. Check out their core values list and see how the values are supported by staff and customers alike.
BigCommerce is a powerful ecommerce platform dedicated to their customers and making an impact on their customers' businesses. The company has the following core values:
- Customers First – As with a lot of retail companies, BigCommerce places a big priority on customer service and customer satisfaction. As noted on their website, the "company exists to help merchants sell more".
- A Team On A Mission – Teamwork is important to success for BigCommerce, and their website notes that the primary goal of their teamwork is to assist customers, which connects closely with their first value above.
- Think Big – Their "unrivaled vision, innovation, and execution" ensures they keep pushing their platform to new and better heights. This requires a certain level of open-mindedness when it comes to testing new ideas and tactics.
- Act With Integrity – BigCommerce believes in being honest and transparent in order to properly serve both their customers and their company. Without everyone on board with that level of transparency, collaboration and customer service are stifled.
- Make a Difference Every Day – BigCommerce's goal is to make an impact every day and to focus on solutions. This requires acting with decisiveness and taking an approach to decision-making that ensures decisions have an impact.
These guiding principles are central to how BigCommerce does business. Every single employee must learn them, embrace them, and live them out in day-to-day dealings both internally and externally in the service of their customers.
The values of online furniture retailer Wayfair govern their interactions with customers and employees, with the aim of allowing them to compete with the brick-and-mortar stores. Here are their values:
- Innovation - Employees should always be looking for better methods and ways of delivering the best service possible, including things like customer satisfaction metrics. An important part of achieving a high level of innovation is resourcefulness and gaining efficiencies to improve metrics like response time for customer inquiries and customer satisfaction.
- Honesty - Similar to BigCommerce, honesty is important to Wayfair. This ensures honesty between employees, as well as between the company and its customers.
- Teamwork - This is a popular value for a reason. Teams and employees that work together build better relationships among themselves and with customers, as well as problem-solve better.
- Transparency - This often goes hand-in-hand with honesty. Having a transparent work environment often translates to a transparent relationship with the customer in which the customer trusts the company and their services.
- Winning Mentality - When employees have a mindset of success and positivity, they are set up to achieve success for customers as well. This also lets employees go above and beyond for customers.
Wayfair's core values come from its focus on improving lives with quality products and good prices. They acknowledge that comfortable and practical living is critical to customers so each interaction they have with Wayfair should reflect and fulfill these mandates.
Mobile dating app Tinder phrases their core values list as statements, rather than one-word descriptors, which allows them room to expand on the value and give customers a better idea of what they can expect. Here are Tinder's core values.
- We are a Team – The Tinder team is focused on working together to achieve what is best for Tinder and the community. This principle guides the way they work and the decisions they make.
- We are Human and Honest – They embrace and value individuality and humanity, and approach situations with candor. According to Tinder, they "always default to honesty" which allows them to be accepting of differences and make their work meaningful.
- We are Curious and Humble – This value espouses the need to be open-minded and avoid egos, even when in disagreement. This value also covers respect and making informed decisions.
- We Have Ambitious Standards – This value covers goal setting and meeting objectives, letting customers know that the company has high standards when it comes to bettering themselves and their standards.
- We Get Sh*t Done – This one is pretty self-explanatory. It covers solving problems and completing tasks, all while moving past any obstacles or barriers as quickly and as effectively as possible.
Tinder’s values focus on diversity, humanity, and achieving high standards, which signals to customers that these values will be easily found when using their services. The company thrives on matching people by finding similarities while admiring differences.
This company grabbed headlines in 2014 when CEO Dan Price raised all employee salaries to at least 70K while cutting his own. That alone signaled what he and the company hold dear. Their core values are simple.
- Creative Leadership – This value covers innovation and creativity, as well as the role of continued learning and knowledge growth in pushing innovation and creativity forward. This includes bold action that makes an impact.
- Passion for Progress – They "have an uncompromising focus on impact and excellence", in order to continually move the needle.
- Responsibility – For Gravity Payments, responsibility includes "honesty, integrity, and thoughtfulness".
Gravity’s mission statement encompasses the company’s core values of people and purpose over profit. They want to help businesses succeed by aligning all work around the fact that the company’s values focus on serving others. Gravity Payments believes in doing more for the customer and charging less while they are doing it, which signals the customer's value to Gravity Payments. The CEO has worked to provide his team with a good quality of life, which ensures employees are in the best possible mindset to assist customers.
Cars.com is a buy and sell website for cars whose values work to build both work relationships and consumer ones. They aim to innovate in the car sales space with new ways of thinking, selling, buying, and interacting.
- Be Bold – This value is about taking action instead of just thinking about actions to take. It also involves creating a path or the next steps when either or both are unclear. Cars.com believes that being bold inspires innovation, another important value.
- Build Relationships for Success – This includes relationships with customers, peers, and others. These relationships allow employees to work together to provide results and solutions to the customer, as well as a high level of service. Employees can make "a real difference by working together".
- Challenge and Collaborate – This involves asking and answering questions when needed, as well as diving in to tough conversations when they occur. Along with teams working together comes the need for teams to challenge each other when necessary.
- Focus on the Outcome – This means employees are goals and solutions oriented. Employees should "embrace learning curves; innovate, err, improve, repeat". The outcome should guide the path towards it.
- Start with the Consumer – Cars.com prioritizes the customer, as do many companies, within their core values list. This means that every decision and objective should be focused on what the customer needs or wants.
- Stay Open – This values covers the importance of differences, and the strengths they add to teams. It also includes trust and respect, which Cars.com states "makes us savvier problem solvers and drive[s] better results".
Cars.com's values are aimed at building trust and relationships with consumers. They follow this up by having a strong team that brings sales and solutions up to speed faster. This instills customer confidence in Cars.com, which the company can then build using their other values.
While there are lots of successful companies out there, there are few that will top Google when it comes to success. Even mega-companies like Google have more than a savvy CEO behind their success; they often also have a core values list. Google has ten core values that they build their business and services on, and which outline how they serve their users.
- Focus on the user and all else will follow – Like the other companies on this list, Google prioritizes their users and customers and this is reflected in their design, user experience, and advertising interface.
- It is best to do one thing really, really well – This value is about ensuring that the main service or product you provide to the customer is everything they need it to be, as well as high quality. Another important aspect of this value is exercising self-control to ensure you don't take on too much at once. Avoid sacrificing quality for quantity.
- Fast is better than slow – Google is always seeking to gain efficiencies in how they provide results and solutions to users. In turn, this allows users themselves to gain efficiencies.
- Democracy on the web works – Google values the content and links indexed by their search engine. It helps them determine the importance and usefulness of all content on the web. They use the opinions and ideas within this content to provide users with the most valuable content, as determined by the number of links to that content.
- You do not need to be at your desk to need an answer – Google aims to serve users wherever they are, whether that is at their desk, commuting, or travelling, or even indoors or outdoors.
- You can make money without doing evil – This value aims to build trust with users by being transparent about how Google makes money through advertising, and the practices they use to ensure that advertising only serves users and not their own interests.
- There’s always more information out there – This value espouses curiosity and creativity in the types and sources of information that Google provides to users. Google aims to provide as much value as possible to users in the form of information.
- The need for information crosses all borders – This value explains that Google aims to provide information to as many users as possible. This is regardless of their language, location, or background. Again, this value focuses on the user and how Google can serve them and meet their needs.
- You can be serious without a suit – Google wants to create a sense of playfulness and approachability while still empowering employees to innovate and think creatively. This value also requires a level of self-awareness in not taking yourself so seriously, while still balancing serious and fun.
- Great just isn’t good enough – For Google, they "see being great at something as a starting point". Employees should continually strive for better and for higher standards. In this way, Google serves users through hard work and an unwillingness to settle for just great.
Google’s core values are clear, meaningful, and work well for employees and users alike. They embody how the company works, plays, and grows, as well as how they serve users. The interesting thing Google points out is that they revisit their values often to make sure all ten still hold true. This shows that serving customers is iterative, and about listening to customers when they challenge Google on whether they are upholding their values, or whether those values are even still relevant.
Working your way through the core values of many successful companies is helpful for creating common core values for those who work and buy from your company. Values are not just words written on a screen or page. They are an actual belief system that employees need to embrace and base their work on, setting an example for customers.
core values list also helps to create a corporate culture that is healthy and supportive. Aim to hire employees who have core values that match those of the company. This sets out a corporate path for both customers and employees to relate to. It also helps build a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding of the core values.
Defining your company's core values and implementing them swiftly drives hiring and business practices, and sets a clear goal and desired outcome. A clear set of values will also help define mission and vision statements, to create a positive experience for both employees and customers. Check out other core value lists to get ideas about how to set your own business values. Don't forget to subscribe to our mailing list for more useful CX tips and best practices.