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How do you promote core values in your company?

YFS Magazine (Young, Fabulous and Self-employed) ran an article not too long ago on “100 Core Values from 15 Winning Companies.” They looked at a range of companies, including Zappos, Toms Shoes, Whole Foods, Accenture, Teach for America, Rackspace, A Weber, Barnes & Noble, Google, American Express, Four Season Hotels & Resorts, CarMax,, Boston Consulting Group, and Quicken Loans.

Sorting the 100 core values by theme, rather than by organization, interesting trends began to emerge.  These 15 high-performance companies–across various industries–certainly aim to deliver a whole lot more than profit.

Most Popular Core Values

The following list is presented in order of the frequency with which the value was mentioned (the number reflects the instances in which that concept was listed).

  • Social Responsibility (16)
  • Customer Service (15)
  • Respect (8)
  • Team (8)
  • Quality (6)
  • Learning (6)
  • Integrity (4)
  • Fun (4)
  • Communication (3)
  • Partnerships (3)
  • Diversity (3)
  • Change (2)
  • Creativity (2)
  • Leadership (2)
  • Passion (2)

A group at Stanford Graduate School of Business took another stab at determining which core values matter most, by asking alumni “What values are important to you in business?”  Key themes emerging from their interviews included, treating others the way you want to be treated (Respect), Integrity, Open and honest communication, Trust, Appreciation, Honesty, Passion, Transparency, and Making a difference.

With Social Responsibility and Customer Service topping the list, it is impressive to see companies looking outside themselves.

Several tools can help your group discuss and promote your organization’s core values:

Tools to Recognize Core Values

i noticed… Pads: recognize efforts to implement core values

I noticed.., Values Appreciation NoteSometimes GREAT work happens in small ways. Let people know you’ve noticed the big and small efforts they make each day to contribute to your organization, promote its mission, and create positivity.

Use carbonless Kudos to give recognition and keep a record of it! Each time you send someone a note of appreciation, you’ll have a duplicate to keep in your file — or pass on to a manager or mentor who might want to know about your hero’s achievements.

Kudos - Values Notes

Each page is printed with: “I noticed… you took our values to heart”. Check off the appropriate boxes and include your own “from the heart” message.

NOTE: Set includes 3 pads; each pad is 4.25″ x 5.5″ and has 50 2-part carbonless sets.

Alternatively, try KUDOS Note Pads that let you acknowledge a colleague’s efforts to implement core values.


Positivity Pack: include a strong message about values when onboarding new employees

Send the message that you mean business when it comes to creating a positive corporate culture or learning environment.

Give each colleague a “Positivity Pack” with key icons that reflect your organization’s values and personality. For instance, you might include:

  • Team guys: support and respect the team
  • Smile Ball: Make customers happy!
  • Mini-Sneaker: go the extra mile to improve quality  
  • Learning Mo-Mints: keep growing and learning
  • Party Blowout: have fun  (Fun)
  • Stretchy String: be flexible and open to change 
  • Mirror Ball: embrace diverse perspectives
  • Crayons: express your creativity

2 thoughts on “How do you promote core values in your company?”

  1. Ozzie Bruce says:

    Individuals must always lead by their example to their peers. In addition, one must treat other persons in the same way, you will like to be treated. When you show others respect, you will earn respect in return from them.

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