Your values are important – guiding your actions along life’s journey. Likewise, your personal values affect your business life as well, driving your decisions and your performance as a small business owner. We’ll discuss these values so ideally you can align your business’s vision and mission with them and hire people who align with you.
All people have deep-seated values that guide their thoughts and actions. Some values are good; some of them are not as good. Ones are for the good of others, while some are self-serving. As a business owner, your values will affect your business – its culture, its mission, its vision, its plans, and its future.
If you recall, we’ve been talking specifically about your strategic planning process, one of the 8 foundational components that drive up your business’s intrinsic value. I’ve even given you a framework to follow as you make your strategic plans: VMVSOSTA. In my last article, I talked about the VM part of VMVSOSTA – developing your business’s Vision and Mission statements. For this article, I’ll be discussing the second V of VMVSOSTA – how your Values affect your business’s planning process.
So let’s get right down to it. What types of personal values affect your actions and reactions?
First of all, you have individual needs, and you want those needs met. While self-serving, that’s not a bad thing. Your need for self-fulfilment gives you your passion and your perseverance, driving you forward.
Next, you have relational values, and that’s how you feel about people and treat them. Maybe, you’re open and trusting. Perhaps, you’re honest, loving, or compassionate. Are you cold, bitter, or surly? Sometimes, you treat close family and friends one way and acquaintances and strangers another way. That can reveal the type of relational values you hold dear.
You also have work values. These types of values reflect your financial priorities. What do you do, and why do you do it? What’s your productivity like? What helps you develop alliances within your workplace?
And finally, you have societal values. These are the values you hope to pass down to future generations. Do you want them to preserve the environment and strive for self-sustainability? Do you want them to understand the value of hard work?
Those four types of personal values – individual, relational, organizational, and societal – shape every aspect of your life. In fact, since your values affect your actions, they affect other people’s lives, too.
You see people exhibit positive values and negative values on a daily basis. Yet, you have to be careful not to mistake beliefs with values. Many times people say, “I believe this is the case.” However, that’s an assumption they feel is true based on their own life experiences. You see, beliefs are ever-changing. New information comes in at a moment’s notice. Thus, you can change your beliefs based on that new information.
Your values, though, are not based on past information or current experiences. Values aren’t contextual; they are who you are. They are the very center of your being, what’s most important to you. And candidly, if you’re a business owner, your values shape the core of your organization.
You make decisions based on your values, and your team members make decisions based on their values. That type of value-based decision making is vital for uniting your employees, your managers, and your owners around one key goal – the goal of increasing the monetary value of your company. If your team members see the “value” of your goal, they are more likely to jump on board with your ideas and suggestions. If increasing the value of your company affects them in a positive manner, then they will value your ideas and help you achieve your company’s goal.
So how do you deal with values within your organization? Well, you can perform a self-assessment on yourself and on your team members. You can find free value assessments online like the Personal Values Assessment by Barrett Values Centre. Essentially, this type of assessment will identify what matters the most to you and your team members.
Once completed, the assessment will also reveal whether or not your group members’ personal values line up with your organization’s values. If the values don’t line up, then you’ll have team members who are less than motivated to help you reach your business goals. Your options at that point are to take corrective measures to shape your team members’ values and align them to your company’s OR to hire new employees whose values line-up with your company’s.
Now, taking those steps sounds easy, but it’s tough. In some of my future articles, I’ll talk about the people within your organization. After all, “people/personnel” are also one of the 8 foundational components that drive up your business’s intrinsic value. I’ll show you how to reshape and remold your team members’ goals and values to get everyone moving in the same direction. But until then, use this article as an overview on personal values and how they affect your business. Know that your personal values affect your business in the strategic planning process because they shape the decisions you and your team members make.
Be sure to join me for my next article in our growth series, where I discuss the first S in VMVSOSTA – the SWOT analysis.