What is a core value?
Core values represent a company’s deeply held beliefs. At Avenica, we say our core values are what drive our actions whether people are watching or not. They are impossible to fake and “core” to how individuals show up every day. If done correctly, core values can be the connecting force of teammates within a company.
Who comes up with core values? What does that process look like?
At Avenica, we implemented EOS (the Entrepreneurial Operating System®), to get better at defining our vision, to build a strong team, and instill clear focus and accountability. Understanding, communicating, and operating with core values is paramount to being a successful EOS company. Our EOS Implementor led us through an exercise that included listing out the qualities of strong performers and valued individuals within the organization. We narrowed in on commonalities to arrive at our list of core values. We revisit our core values quarterly to see if those values and our definition of those values still apply as the company matures.
How do core values play out in a company at a high level? What about day-to-day?
Core values should be at the heart of how a company operates day in and day out. They should be called out in meetings, listed as teammates are recognized for contributions, referenced when key decisions are being made, and “core” to the hiring, evaluating, and firing processes within a company.
Why do they matter when I am looking for a job?
Finding an authentic fit is important for an individual to be able to show up as their true self every day. We are paid to go to work for a reason. Work requires effort. Trying to be someone you’re not (but a company expects you to be) will require a great deal of time and energy. For many people, that takes more time and energy than simply doing their day job. A core values match allows an individual to focus on the work itself and drive results, instead of spending time and energy on “trying to fit in”.
How can I find a company that fits me?
When interviewing, ask questions about a company’s core values. Seek to understand what the values mean and if they speak to who you are and an environment you think will bring out the best in you. Also try to gauge how important the core values are within an organization. It’s telling if the interviewer needs to look up what the core values are, or if they speak freely about them. Ask the interviewer questions such as:
- How are your core values demonstrated in day-to-day operations?
- How are you evaluating me on whether I’m a core values fit?
- How are your core values celebrated?
- What happens when someone is deemed to not be a core values fit?