How to Promote Core Values in the Workplace

7 min. read

A manager's guide to promoting core values in the workplace. Learn about company core values, how to implement & demonstrate them to employees.

Figuring out the core values of your business or organization is not only necessary, it is vital. Your core values articulate, determine and monitor the quality of your company culture since they act as your moral compass in business. Your core values should be top of mind at all times and your team should all be on board. It isn't enough to just have a set of core business values on the company website if you aren't going to stand on the courage of your convictions.

As they say, you have to put your money where your mouth is ... or it's all just lip service. Fake value systems cause ruptures in company culture and can end an organization. However, by outlining your initiatives and core values you can attract talent to your organization that think the way you do and this can lead to better teams and decision making. Human Resources get a boost because there is a higher rate of staff retention and you can attract top talent that may have decided to go elsewhere if they believe you stand for the same values.

What are core values in business?

When we speak about core values in a business what do we mean? Business core values are the clearly stated principles about the organization's vision. It sets out the mission in clear terms. The company's core values are set so that everyone is aligned around a guiding philosophy that serves employees as well as customers and the broader community as a whole. They are the moral standards for behavior and the way of doing business that have been envisioned and clearly communicated by leadership.

Company core values examples

Looking at some examples of core values in the workplace gives us a clearer understanding of how it affects the overall company culture as well as the team members of the organization. New employees have to align themselves with the core values of the business when they join. This creates a holistic team approach. The core values of a company need to be properly thought through and set out. Things can change as time goes on but hopefully, the core values of the business remain steady throughout. An organization's values will dictate how the company treats its workers and customers.


Respect and Integrity are very valuable commodities when it comes to building trust in a company's mission. With open and honest communication you can inspire passion from your team members. Kindness and decency are naturally linked to this idea of treating others with respect.

Social Responsibility

Making a difference in the world is also one of the top results of what people expect from a company or organization when it comes to the core values in their workplace. Help employees find meaningful ways to volunteer and get engaged in their local communities. How does the company itself articulate its own Corporate Social Responsibility and contribute to societal goals of a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature by engaging in or supporting volunteering or ethically-oriented practices?

Below is a list of some of the other most popular core values in business.

  • Communication: Communication is very important to people. It connects us all. Community is built from communicating and the bottom line is that without it we are all poorer.

  • Diversity: Diversity and inclusion is being addressed all over the world and it needs to be rewarded and encouraged. More diversity in a team means more perspectives and possible solutions. Pair diversity with strong communication and decision-making skills and you create a team that can think on its feet and gets things done. Not only that, but it sends a strong message to the outside world that the company is committed to representing the interests of people from all walks of life.

  • Creativity: Creativity is a strong motivator. It drives us as humans. We create things and love to be part of teams that create things. It is hard-wired into us and it is a very important core value to have. It also suggests that your company has a strong desire to find new and beautiful ways to grow, find solutions, and think outside of the box.

  • Customer Service: Looking after people means you are kind and caring. People like to work for a company that cares. It makes them feel safe and secure and like they are doing something good, rather than being a cog in a giant, cold, capitalistic machine. Contributing to the greater good is a natural and powerful urge. Making sure folks are happy is positive and that draws good people with the best intentions to you.

  • Quality: If you work for a company that is renowned for having great quality it makes you proud to work there. Conversely, if your products have a reputation of being defective or faulty you won't be advocating their virtues to anyone. Quality can also refer to service and how you treat people.

  • Learning: On-the-job learning means you get more out of the experience than just a paycheck. You get new qualifications and skills as well as experience. Team members get the chance to improve themselves by learning more about the field they have chosen. This impacts career advancement opportunities and can have an effect on the life-work balance.

Why are core values important at work?

Strong core values give employees a shared sense of commitment, allowing them to rally behind a united cause. If you have a team that works together with passion, you generally find the organizational culture is of a high standard and the retention of staff has more longevity. This shows the importance of demonstrating values in the workplace. A set of values that is top priority for your team members means that the culture of the company is being cared for. The mission statement is being kept alive and the bigger, broader picture of making a difference is being felt. Harvard Business Review says that 80 percent of the Fortune 100 proudly state their values publicly.

Paying lip service to core values isn’t enough. You need to promote and reinforce your values every day. The core values of your business should reflect your own unique culture and brand. 55 percent of all Fortune 100 companies claim integrity is a core value, 49 percent say they put customer satisfaction first. 40 percent say they rely on teamwork.

Your organization has its own set of challenges and you can't compare some companies with others unless it's apples to apples. The old saying goes "Don't compare your insides with someone else's outside." Your future depends on being able to form a value statement that drives your team forward with a clear conscience and a proverbial song in their heart. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, a remote work environment was rare. Now, people are used to working remotely and dealing with remote team members. It isn't easy to “see” what their peers are doing every day. Setting an example is not as easy as sharing office space. Remote teams require you to check on accountability around core values more often.

Values matter. Teamwork is bred by sharing the same values and goals. You work together to get projects done. You share time and passion with the team and are rewarded for it. By clearly defining your values you will figure out ways to build accountability into them. This helps you and your team live the values rather than just look at a list of nice ideas on a wall. By truly adhering to a core value system you can start to build a culture of integrity and honesty. And this, in turn, will lead to trust and higher business results.