As you step into a leadership role at the head of your company or your team, you can expect plenty of things to change over the next few years. You may experience personnel turnover, you may achieve some key goals and put those milestones behind you, and you may shift direction or change your definition of a successful product or service. Even your target audience may shift, which may require changes in your marketing plan or value proposition. But here’s one thing that won’t change: What you stand for as a company.
Your core values should be built on a foundation of bedrock that stays in place, even if your entire business model changes around you. For example, if your company believes in treating customers fairly, putting employee safety ahead of profits, or treating the local community with respect, these values won’t change — Even if you start out selling one type of product and transition fully to another. So how can you keep your actions in line with your core values when the winds of change begin to blow? Here are a few things to think about.
The pressure may be strong.
Maintaining your core values (and those of your company) won’t always be easy—but nobody promised it would be. Doing what comes naturally doesn’t always align with doing what’s right. For example, shareholders may pressure you– either directly or by issuing mandates to C-level executives—to increase profits by compromising employee safety. It’s easy to comply with such pressure, but compliance isn’t the answer. When you take a stand, expect strong headwinds. You can also expect thorny puzzles if, for example, your core values also include protecting shareholder profits at all costs.
Choosing your battles may become part of the equation.
If your core values include fairness to employees, and you’re considering dismissing an employee for possibly unfair reasons, it’s time to take a stand. But how far should you go? Push back when it’s right to do so, but recognize that fairness to one employee may mean injustice to another. Likewise, taking an employee’s side during a client dispute may mean a lost contract—but how damaging is the loss? Everything has limits, and some battles bring victory that may not be worth the cost. As you wrestle with these puzzles, keep your core values in sight at all times. Define them in simple terms and refer to them often. This is why successful managers often keep the company’s core values framed and hung in a visible location.
Don’t be caught off guard when your business model evolves or your values are challenged. This isn’t a rare occurrence; in fact, it’s an unavoidable aspect of maintaining a successful business. Nothing stays the same, nor should it. Growth means constant changes and constant challenges. If you’re standing still, something’s wrong.
If you are looking for the right employees to bring to your team to represent your company values, reach out to the ACCENT Hiring Group to work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale.