Fort Features: Core Values
With the recent popularity, you have probably heard the buzzword ‘Core Values.’ But what the heck are they? In their simplest form, they are the foundational values you expect your employees and company to conduct business under. Here at Fort Capital, we didn’t take this process lightly as our Core Values aren’t just words on paper but an expectation for our team, vendors, investors, and stakeholders. We initially developed and implemented our Core Values back in 2015 and over the past 5 years this is what we’ve learned:
1. More isn’t always better.
We initially had nine Core Values and refined to four.
Your team should have your Core Values memorized and be able to confidently speak to them.
2. Don’t rush.
We took ~6 months to finalize our Core Values. Why? To make sure they stood the test of time and weren’t an ‘in the moment’ decision.
3. Your Core Values can evolve over time.
As our business grew from only a couple of employees to a team of 20+, our Core Values were no longer reflecting the culture / what made us unique. We recognized this and updated them to be more meaningful.
Your Core Values should reflect your existing work style and culture not just a bunch of jargon of where you aspire to be.
4. Get your team involved.
Send a survey to your team asking which of your existing Core Values resonates most with them and why. This also helps to have the teams ‘buy-in” which will ultimately make your Core Values more successful.
Engage the leaders at your company to provide input.
5. Tangibly incorporate these values into your team’s everyday decision-making—they shouldn’t just be words on a page.
Go beyond picking a ‘word’. Define what that word / Core Value means to your team and be clear on what is expected.
We “hire and fire” based on our Core Values.
We recognize and highlight team members who show exemplary examples of our Core Values in their daily roles.
6. Your Core Values should speak to what differentiates you as a company.
They shouldn’t be generic words like “teamwork, honest”—those are just givens.
Your Core Values should be the themes that you use to guide your team through high and low points. They should resonate under all conditions.
Want to check out our Core Values?