Aligning Your Values With Your Business

Efficiency is the name of the game at Agents of Efficiency (obviously) so we’re making it even more efficient for you to improve your business. Every week, we sort through all the boring stuff to bring you the best tips from the wide world of the web. For this week’s #2tips4tues, we examine how to start aligning your values with your business.

We’ve seen enough examples to know that the lure of money can often tempt people into engaging in risky or even illegal business activities. But the stereotype of the businessman selling his soul to make a buck doesn’t have to hold up in your reality. Bringing your values into the workplace is not only doable; it’s one of the secrets to thriving. 

Step 1: Cultivate Positive Interactions

If you’re unsure how to bring your values into the workplace, or even if you’re unsure what your values are, start with an emphasis on honest, positive interactions. Are the lines of communication open between you and your staff? What about between you and your customers? John Zimmer, cofounder of Lyft, is a prime example of success in this arena.

“I think more about the culture at Lehman Brothers when I worked there. I saw that people weren’t being themselves and they weren’t participating in a meaningful way. I learned that the values that I want to be a part of and create are different. When you walk into the Lyft offices in San Francisco, you see a sign of our first value, which is to “be yourself.” Our fourth value is “participate,” he told Entrepreneur.

Step 2: Explore Your Values

To discover your core values, take a moment to consider what you prioritize. What really bothers you about your business? What do you especially love? For example, a business owner who strives to remember the name of each customer may find that this priority is driven by a fundamental value: community.

Exploring your values isn’t just a whimsical activity that is unrelated to your bottom line.

“We ended up with five core values that continue to be the keys to our long-term survival,” Keith Squires, president and CEO of PathMaker Group told Entrepreneur. At times making painful decisions and even “breaking up” with customers, Squires believes his company’s 5 chosen values guide team behavior and are responsible for 10 years of thriving business.