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7 Steps To Fine-Tune Your Core Values

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Core Values

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Published March 08, 2024

Core Values

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Picture of Patrick Thean

Patrick Thean
our Rhythm ninja

Great companies live and die by their core values because core values drive behavior. Unfortunately, many companies define their core values only to have them become nothing more than posters on the wall. 

If you want to drive the right behaviors on your team, make sure that you have identified core values that represent the best elements of your company. Revisit and refine them from time to time, and ensure that they make sense for your real-life workplace. 

Take these seven steps to fine-tune your core values and check if they are working for your team:

  1. Identify a couple of team members whom you would be proud to present as ambassadors of your company. What values and traits do they have that make you think, “Wow, these are really my best people!”? Make a list of these qualities, and cross-reference them with your current list of core values. Where is there overlap? Where are your core values lacking? Make adjustments so that your core values reflect the best traits of your A-Players.
  2. Next, think about who you have fired in the past couple of years due to character traits that were not aligned with the team. Who had the most difficulty getting along with others, and why? Make a list of these traits, and then convert them to positive traits. For example, “Resistant to new ideas” could become “Curious and open-minded”. As you make these conversions, revisit your current core values and note if any of these positive traits are missing from your list. Make adjustments as necessary. 
  3. Pare down your core values. Consolidate similar ideas.
  4. At this point, it’s time to get some fresh eyes on your updated list. Share it with your leadership team and invite discussion and debate. Talk it through until you can agree on an improved set of core values. 
  5. Next, take a few weeks to observe these values “in the wild”. Do they truly work for you, your team, and your company? Don’t be shy about trying them on like a pair of shoes. 

    core value

Here are a few questions to ask yourself and your fellow leaders as you check for the right fit:

        • Do we see behaviors from our greater team that align with our updated core values?
        • When our team embodies these values, is their way of working more joyful? 
        • Do any of the values we identified look good on paper but not make sense in our actual workplace?

6. If any of the core values you identified end up not being the right fit for your team, remove them from the list. Do this even if the core value has been on your list for years.
7. Finalize your updated list of core values and set them in ink. Let your entire team know about the updates that were made. When you do this, include examples of behaviors that each core value drives. That way, your team can more clearly understand how to emulate your core values. 

Don’t let your core values become posters on the wall that nobody pays attention to. Live and die by your core values–and hire and fire by them. Encourage your team to do the same. When you hold your town halls or all-hands meetings, start by reviewing your core values so that they become part of your DNA. 

Watch desired behaviors multiply!


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Want More Tips On How To Strengthen Your Core Values? Take A Look At These Articles: 

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