I began my career as an accountant and went to work for a large regional firm. On day 1, I sat in a conference room with twenty or so other new employees, while a partner detailed to us the firm’s core values and mission. Being right out of college and already knowing everything, I was tired of the talk before it started and just wanted to get to work. However, over my next 7 years at the firm, a funny thing happened. The core values and beliefs started to stick, and they started to be a part of my vocabulary. At a certain point, I wasn’t just a bearer of these values, but I was a teacher of them.
When you are in an environment like that, you don’t see the importance of that culture until it is gone. I have since been at a couple of other companies which lack this strong set of values, and it was noticeable. It’s not that these other places aren’t great companies, but the employees lack a common thread that binds them together and points them towards a goal.
Talking to a small businesses about core values can be a tough sell. There is not a direct economic value that correlates with the implementation of core values. Or, at least that is the common thought. I am here to tell you that there is indeed an impact on the bottom line for organizations that have a strong set of core values.
Organizations that implement and live their core values on a daily basis improve effectiveness within the organization and its’ workforce. This leads to less turnover, better customer retention and satisfaction and a higher degree of ownership from employees. Now tell me that these qualities don’t impact the bottom line. That’s not just my opinion, it is also the opinion of people much smarter than me. For instance, one recent study from Aon Hewitt showed that every incremental percentage point increase in employee engagement resulted in 0.6% sales growth. I think it is more than that. For small businesses that are essentially starting from very little employee engagement, this could result in huge sales growth.
However, there are some reasons that don’t correlate with the bottom line directly to implement core values of your own. A while back, I was having a conversation with one of my franchisees about a few customer complaints that I had received related to their store. We were talking about customer service, and during the conversation I came to the realization that customer service meant something different to them. Neither of our definitions were right or wrong, they were just different. Since putting a common set of values in place, we now speak the same vocabulary. When we talk about expectations, empathy, recovery and trust (our four Laws of the Jungle) we are on the same page.
Monkey Bizness is in the process of implementing our core values. I have come to learn that it will always be a process. Our values will grow and change but we will stay with it. Not just because it helps the bottom line, but because our values will be what define us.
If you have ever thought about franchising with Monkey Bizness, visit our website for a plethora of information about what we have to offer the right franchisee!