Core values: Why your software company needs them


February 16th, 2022


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Vesta Software Group

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Core values act as a set of guiding principles and beliefs that determine how you do business. These – along with your company culture – tend to either be determined and nurtured from the very beginning or, more typically, developed at random over time based on the beliefs and experiences from people within the team.

However, defining values is one thing. Ingraining them into your culture to drive the desired results is another.

Why are core values important?

Your values will light the way for your team. They tell employees, customers and prospects who you are and why your company exists. Ultimately, they are there to define how decisions are made, what goals are set and how these are achieved.

They will also help to:

  • Influence performance – Instilling your company’s identity, direction and goals will impact productivity, creativity and growth.
  • Build your brand – It’s not all about your logo, tagline and colours. Core values will help to create uniformity in the perception of your company and its products and services.
  • Encourage independence – Ingraining core values into your employees’ minds will enable them to make decisions that reflect your company’s principles without the need for input from a superior.
  • Hire the best talent – If a candidate personally shares similar values, they’ll be more likely to fit in with your team and perform to a high standard.
  • Resonate with customers – People prefer to buy products and services from companies that have a purpose which resonates with their personal beliefs.

How can you reinforce your core values?

No two companies are the same, so the way you choose to promote and reinforce your values should be reflective of your unique culture. However, there are some methods that are commonly used:

Lead by example

Owners and managers are always looked up to. Failing to abide by your own core values is worse than not establishing them to begin with. Make sure you stand by what you believe in.

Regularly communicate your values to employees

It’s important to find creative ways to keep your values front-of-mind. They could appear on walls around the office or be shared in a weekly internal newsletter, for example.

Recognise employees who demonstrate your values

When you work hard, it’s nice to be congratulated on a job well done. By recognising those who demonstrate your values in real, everyday behaviours, it can go a long way to making those values more tangible.

Use your hiring strategy to instill values from the outset

Your goal should always be to attract candidates who share similar values, so be sure to always include yours on career pages and job descriptions when hiring.

When welcoming a new employee, you should introduce your core values early on by sharing resources and training to demonstrate their importance.

Incorporate values into your sales process

It goes beyond simply listing your values in the opening paragraph of a tender or proposal. Instead, work on using language that will highlight how your core values will shape the customer’s experience.

Frequently garner feedback from employees

Who best to tell you whether your company is living by its values? Checking in with staff through surveys or questionnaires is the easiest way to make informed decisions to keep your values ingrained into your organisation.

The bottom line…

Whilst most software companies will have attempted to define their core values in some way, it’s not always easy to live up to them. Google is one of the few who have clearly set out their values and continue to make conscious attempts to lead by example.

Their ‘ten things we know to be true’ was set out very early on in the tech giant’s journey and they claim that they revisit the list from time to time to see if it still holds true. Their ten points are:

  1. Focus on the end user and all else will follow
  2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well
  3. Fast is better than slow
  4. Democracy on the web works
  5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer
  6. You can make money without doing evil
  7. There’s always more information out there
  8. The need for information crosses all borders
  9. You can be serious without a suit
  10. Great just isn’t good enough

On Google’s philosophy page, they provide examples of how they are sticking by their values. For instance, take number 8, “The need for information crosses all borders”. Though the company was founded in California, their mission has always been to “facilitate access to information for the entire world, and in every language”. They now have offices in more than 60 countries, maintain more than 180 internet domains and offer their search interface in over 130 languages. With their own translation tools and the help of volunteer translators, “people can discover content written on the other side of the world in languages they don’t speak”.

Google have come to show that you need to make sure you can back up your core values with intentional, calculated decisions in order for them to hold any power. Doing so will help your customers identify with, and stay loyal to, your brand, as well as ensure long-term employee retention.

To find out how Vesta supports our family of software companies, and how we could do the same for you, get in touch.