How can you build great teams, provide excellent service, and foster innovation if your company lacks direction? A dream-big vision and a clear mission are not enough to guide a team. Well-defined core values are an essential ingredient in the driving forces behind a successful team.
By Inke Bruwer on Mon Nov 14 2022
The mission, vision, and value statements of a company are the guiding forces behind a successful team. The first two serve to answer the core questions of ‘what’ and ‘why’. The latter addresses the question of ‘how’. Together, they provide clear direction.
To work toward a common goal, a team must understand ‘what’ that goal is, and ‘why’ it is important to work toward it. The vision and mission serve to unite team members in answering the questions ‘what’ and ‘why’.
The vision statement communicates the purpose of the organisation. It is the shoot-for-the-stars statement that makes the founders and team dream big and work with enthusiasm to make the vision a reality. In our case, the vision is to Employ the World. Employment of entry-level workers is truly the heartbeat of every role and every task at JOBJACK. The vision is the reminder of ‘what’ we are trying to achieve, and ‘why’ we do what we do.
The mission statement provides insight into what the company hopes to achieve and become in the future. At JOBJACK, we aim to become the global go-to marketplace for entry-level jobs. There are many things that the JOBJACK platform can be and do - but this season the team chooses to prioritise the employment of entry-level workers in order to Employ the World. A clear mission statement sets a distinct priority and assists a company in moving in the right direction.
A dream-big vision combined with a well-defined mission sounds like a winning recipe for motivating a team to work toward achieving a goal. But the critical missing ingredient is the clear and practical values that guide a team in their day-to-day tasks, decisions, and interactions. It is the final ingredient that supplements the ‘what’ and ‘why’ answers with practical principles to determine the ‘how’.
Company values (also known as corporate values or core values) are a set of guiding principles that enable a group of people to operate as a team. These fundamental beliefs communicate important standards about the preferred way of doing business. Company values are the principles that support the vision and shape the culture which will allow the team to achieve the mission.
When developing company values, a few factors must be kept in mind. Values are most effective if they are simple enough to understand and easy to remember. They must be well-communicated to ensure that they stay relevant and are widely adopted by the team. Each internal team member and external client or stakeholder should know exactly what they mean at first glance. Lastly, your values need to be unique, as your vision, mission and team members are unique.
JOBJACK’s values read as follows: Back yourself, Better not Bitter, The JOBJACK Pack is a choice, Our favourite time is now, and SMILE (serving many through innovation love and excellence). These guiding principles are revisited in every season, to reapply them to new challenges, and to redefine them should they need to grow as the company has grown.
Strategies change over time as circumstances and the needs of the company change. Well-defined values serve as a tool for integrating strategies across teams and timelines. It helps team members to see how each strategy ties into the bigger picture.
Values bind team members by improving team cohesion, creating a sense of purpose, improve and creating a sense of commitment in the workplace. It is the building block for guiding communication, innovation, and employee decision-making. It ensures that employees act in line with the same principles and so revert to the same core of determining their ‘how’.
Whenever people group together to serve a specific function, they develop a culture which determines the preferred ways of performing tasks and taking action within that group. Company culture drives a team. Clear values are at the core of company culture as it guides employee intuition and helps them to define their ways of working in each situation. It ensures that employees are committed to the same fundamentals of working as they work towards the same goals. If your company values are not driving your culture, something else will.
Unsurprisingly, a well-defined set of company values is essential in attracting the right talent. Creating and communicating well-defined values results in a company culture that attracts the right people and binds those people by fostering team cohesion. It gives your work a sense of purpose and feeds into efforts that work toward the vision.
To encourage constructive collaborations, innovations and strategies of a team, you need to implement values into your company. If your values are well-defined, and widely adopted they can contribute by driving company growth, shaping company culture and attracting the right talent. Without a vision, mission or values, a team is left without an answer to either one or more of the questions asking ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’.