In today’s mid or post-pandemic marketing landscape, many marketers and brands are asking themselves how they can connect with their customers, employees, and future prospects. The answer for many has been to focus on their brand’s core values and continue moving forward with a purpose-driven mission and empathy.
Start with “Why”
In order to begin thinking about how you create a purpose-driven mission, you need to look into the heart or soul of the company. What is the company’s “why” — why does it exist, and what about that makes employees want to work there?
For most staffing firms, they may say that they exist to connect great companies with great employees, or to help find the right person for a specific role. However, this isn’t truly the reason why the company exists. We find that there is a story that goes deeper, like realizing that by connecting the right people with the right role, the company is helping change lives and improve their business community.
Changing lives and improving the business community is something an organization can rally behind. Every day they can ensure that they are making a true and measurable impact against those core beliefs.
Create Your Company Values
Now that your “why” is clear, it’s time to create approximately five to ten values to guide your employees to success in your purpose-driven company.
When creating values, many companies struggle with the creation process. Should the CEO create these and hand them down like commandments, or should the entire company have a say so they are “bought-in”? At Sparxoo, we’ve seen a hybrid model be most effective.
Typically we have a group no larger than seven to eight people (five is usually the paragon) prepare some ideas around what makes your company a great place to work, a great company to do business with, and a great company to spend the rest of your career with. We also ask what the non-negotiables are for any new hires or current employees of your company.
From there, common themes come to the surface around what the company truly values. For some, we find that speed and agility is a must. For others, being a self-starter and having entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial skills are a must.
The goal is to find the overlapping themes and begin to shape and mold these into your core values. Don’t get too hung up on wordsmithing these just yet — there will be time for that after the next step.
With five to ten core values loosely determined, have each person in the group think of a high-performing team member and have them grade that team member on the core values, giving them a “+” if they embody the core value, a “+/-” if they somewhat embody the value, and “-” if they do not. Since these are high-performing team members, the vast majority of these should be “+”. If they aren’t it may be worthwhile to revisit those values and see if they are clear, and something the organization truly values.
Once the values are refined, invite a different group of five to seven people to take part in a values brainstorm, where one person from the leadership team will present the new values and see if there is feedback from the group. You may want to send the new group the list of values prior to the conversation, but be sure to explain the thoughtful process that was taken to get there.
Hopefully, there are only some minor edits to one or two values, and you can now take the team’s feedback and begin wordsmithing each value using both the leadership team and functional team’s input.
Create a Clear and Consistent Message
Now that you have a clear purpose, or “why,” and clear core values for your company, it’s time to be sure you are communicating clearly with your clients and potential prospects.
Does your logo have a story that is memorable, is connected to your product/service, or ties back to your “why”? If not, you may want to ask yourself if it is time for a refresh or update. Does your website reflect who you are as a company and align with your core values?
After creating your “why” and your core values, you should spend time thinking about your value proposition. In other words, the plain English explanation of what it is you do and how you differ from competitors.
It is important to ensure you’re consistent in using the same language. In today’s marketplace you may have a few different people creating content for your website, social media, and other mediums. A brand guide or brand manual is a great document to ensure everyone is one the same page when it comes to speaking about your purpose-driven organization.