What separates an average company from one that’s beloved by its employees? You know what we’re talking about: the company whose Glassdoor reviews consist of complaints versus the one that’s always winning those “Best Places to Work” awards. 🏆
A lot goes into creating an organization where people want to work—but we might argue that company core values are the most important element. Creating them is just the beginning; demonstrating and incorporating them into your day-to-day is where they come to life.
Core values should serve as the lifeblood, heart, and soul of everything your business does. They are the DNA behind your company’s mission, vision, and purpose—the beliefs and fundamental principles that guide your employees at every level and communicate how your business operates to your customers.
Core values help form your company culture. They are the distinctive qualities of your business that should be upheld no matter what.
So, the million-dollar question: what makes a great core value? 🤔
According to The Management Center, company core values should:
- Accurately describe your organization.
- Differentiate you from your competitors.
- Be embodied by all leaders.
- Routinely be taught, reinforced, and rewarded among all employees.
Looking for ways to improve your company culture? Check out our free downloadable guide: 10 Dead Simple Ways to Improve Your Company Culture.
Inspiring company core value examples
Here are some top-notch core value examples that we love from a great group of companies!
HubSpot offers an all-in-one CRM platform for business marketing, sales, and service needs. Their mission is to help companies “grow with a conscience, and succeed with a soul,” using a distinct marketing philosophy. They are headquartered in Cambridge, MA with over 3,000 employees. HubSpot has been awarded as a top workplace by Entrepreneur, Fortune, Glassdoor, and more.
They say their employees are full of HEART, which stands for Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, and Transparent. Additionally, their values are:
- We solve for the customer.
- We work to be remarkably transparent.
- We favor autonomy & accountability.
- We believe our best perk is amazing peers.
- We lean towards long-term impact.
Headspace provides one of the leading guided meditation apps whose mission is “to improve the health and happiness of the world.” Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, their team consists of nearly 500 employees.
- Selfless drive: We accelerate each other and are accountable to each other to deliver on our vision.
- Courageous heart: We bravely go to new places knowing we have the support of our team.
- Curious mind: We learn that when we listen to others, we cultivate the curiosity and empathy to unlock innovation.
Paycom offers HR software to assist companies with talent acquisition, management, payroll, and more. They have over 4,000 employees and have been named a best place to work by Glassdoor.
- Winning: We fight to win and refuse to lose.
- Game faces on, we pursue victory with the heart of a champion.
- Lead: We dream. We build. We deliver.
- With revolutionary vision, we lead ourselves and each other to greatness.
- Grit: We embrace the hard stuff.
- Sleeves rolled up, we attack every challenge head-on.
- Serve: We serve with passion. We serve with purpose.
- With a helpful spirit, we do what’s right and then add more.
- Learn: We seek knowledge to fuel our future.
- Growth is not by chance. It’s the result of a forever quest to improve through lifelong learning. *Fun included
4. Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's is a well-known and cherished grocer easily recognized by its laid-back, nautical theme, and tasty products (have you had their dark chocolate peanut butter cups?!). With over 500 store locations across the country, their company core values help keep their culture unified.
- Producing customer wow experiences
- Kaizen (a Japanese word that literally means “change for the better.”)
- Treating its store as a brand
- Being product driven
The mission at Salesforce is to “bring companies and customers together.” They boast an impressive team of over 55,000 employees. Salesforce is consistently ranked among the top companies to work for and their impressive list of core values might explain why.
- Trust: We act as trusted advisors.
- We earn the trust of our customers, employees, and extended family through transparency, security, compliance, privacy, and performance. We deliver the industry’s most trusted infrastructure.
- Customer Success: When our customers succeed, we succeed.
- So we champion them to achieve extraordinary things. We innovate and expand our business offerings to provide all our stakeholders with new avenues to achieve ever greater success.
- Innovation: We innovate together.
- Our customer input helps us develop products that best serve their business needs. Providing continual technology releases and new initiatives gives our customers a competitive advantage.
- Equality: Everyone deserves equal opportunities.
- We believe everyone should be seen, heard, valued, and empowered to succeed. Hearing diverse perspectives fuels innovation, deepens connections between people, and makes us a better company.
If you'd like to build a culture that aligns with your company's core values, check out this Essential Guide to Employee Engagement to learn how engaged employees make all the difference.
Nike may be one of the most well-recognized brands in the world. Headquartered in Beaverton, OR, with over 10,000 employees, their mission is to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. [*If you have a body, you are an athlete.]”
- Innovation: We dare to design the future of sport.
- To make big leaps, we take big risks.
- Our Team: A team that’s empowered, diverse, and inclusive.
- A love of sport unites us.
- Social & Community Impact: The world is our community.
- We believe in the power of sport to move the world.
- Sustainable Business Innovation: Protecting the future of sport.
- We believe in a fair, sustainable future—one where everyone thrives on a healthy planet and level playing field.
Deloitte is a global financial, consulting, tax, and audit firm with over 300,000 employees. Their mission is to help their clients and people excel.
- We believe that nothing is more important than our reputation, and behaving with the highest levels of integrity is fundamental to who we are. We demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainable and responsible business practices.
- Outstanding value to markets & clients
- We play a critical role in helping both the capital markets and our clients operate more effectively. We consider this role a privilege, and we know it requires constant vigilance and unrelenting commitment.
- Commitment to each other
- We believe that our culture of borderless collegiality is a competitive advantage for us, and we go to great lengths to nurture it and preserve it. We go to extraordinary lengths to support our people.
- Strength from cultural diversity
- Our clients’ business challenges are complex and benefit from multidimensional thinking. We believe that working with people of different backgrounds, cultures, and thinking styles helps our people grow into better professionals and leaders.
Since Starbucks launched in 1971 at Pike Place Market in Seattle, the company has been a disruptor in the coffee and cafe industry. Their thoughtful list of company values may have something to do with that.
- Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
- Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
- Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
- Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
As a global, 70 year old company, ADP is an HR and benefits partner for organizations around the world. Their mission is to offer insightful solutions that bring value and success to their clients by allowing them to focus on their business.
- Integrity is everything:
- We conduct our business with the highest level of integrity. We are straightforward and honor our commitments. Every time.
- Insightful expertise:
- We thrive on turning knowledge into insight. Staying ahead of the curve is how we drive value for our clients.
- Service excellence:
- We are obsessed with the client experience. The strength of our client relationships is the key to our growth and success.
- Inspiring innovation:
- We pioneer new and better ways to serve our clients and grow their businesses. We created an entire industry and continue to look ahead to create tomorrow.
- Each person counts:
- We believe that each person counts. Each client and each associate. Every deed and every contact between ourselves and our clients. We respect and embrace the diversity of our associates, clients and business partners.
- We are driven by a strong, results-driven work ethic. We encourage accountability and prudent risk-taking without the fear of occasional failure.
- Social responsibility:
- We believe in giving back to the communities where we work and live. We encourage and support our people’s commitment to giving back and helping to improve their communities.
Patagonia is a top outdoor clothing retailer that in recent years has shifted its focus to sustainable fashion. A majority of their products are made with recycled materials and they often use the visibility of their brand as a platform when it comes to environmental conservation and activism.
- Build the best product
- Our criteria for the best product rests on function, repairability, and, foremost, durability. Among the most direct ways we can limit ecological impacts is with goods that last for generations or can be recycled so the materials in them remain in use. Making the best product matters for saving the planet.
- Cause no unnecessary harm
- We know that our business activity—from lighting stores to dyeing shirts—is part of the problem. We work steadily to change our business practices and share what we’ve learned. But we recognize that this is not enough. We seek not only to do less harm, but more good.
- Use business to protect nature
- The challenges we face as a society require leadership. Once we identify a problem, we act. We embrace risk and act to protect and restore the stability, integrity and beauty of the web of life.
- Not bound by convention
- Our success—and much of the fun—lies in developing new ways to do things.
We would be remiss if we didn’t include our values.
At Bonusly, we’re on a mission to help people connect with their work and each other in meaningful ways. We believe that every organization can be successful by building high-performing, deeply engaged teams with the use of our top-rated employee recognition and engagement platform.
Because our values shape so much of who we are as an organization, we make sure they are well-known and woven into our daily work. We even have them listed publicly in our Employee Unhandbook. They include:
- Go get results
- Be an excellent teammate
- Default to transparency
- Work smarter
- Seek and embrace diversity
- Delight the customer
Hopefully, our list of company core values has given you some helpful ideas when it comes to your own organization's values and culture.
The first step is creating them but, as mentioned previously, they come to life when your team incorporates and puts them into practice. This can be a challenge, but our simple recognition and rewards tool makes it a breeze to tie recognition directly to your company values.
Bonusly’s recognition and rewards program allows you to reinforce your company's core values while helping your employees feel appreciated and connected. Request a demo today or check out the resource below.