Core Values

Once again, Jamie Naughton is on a roll as she talks about how Zappo’s uses their culture to retain employees. My favorite point from this post is when she talks about how their culture is defined by their 10 core values.

In all of the research I’ve done, one thing is obvious, the best companies in the country have a strong set of core values that they live by – from the top of the organization to the bottom. They hire, fire, and promote based on those values and they’re not afraid to admit it. They talk about values and hold each other accountable for living them.

The reason core values are so important is because they guide everyone down the same path. They define what is important to the company and give employees direction. They tell people how they’re expected to live, work, and play within the walls of your organization.

Having core values written in your three hundred page employee handbook that no one reads isn’t enough. Core values need to be integrated into the daily lives of Senior Leadership, Managers, and employees. Candidates need to be interviewed and assessed based on those values and employees who don’t live them need to be shown the front door.

Remember, Core Values don’t have to be lame. The best ones out there have personality and speak to the culture of the company – “Create fun and a little weirdness” is a Zappo’s example.

What are some of your favorite Core Value examples?

About Marisa

Marisa Keegan is a leadership coach, trainer, and HR consultant for quickly growing organizations who are passionate about strengthening their employees, their brand, and their culture. She has helped lead the HR, culture, and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. She is an author at Fistful of Talent and Culture Fanatics. Marisa has her Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and currently lives with her husband and twin boys in Richmond, Virginia.
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