Strong organization is characterized by both the reliable structure which can provide the achievement of determined goals and clear motivating ideology that lays down fundamental business principles. These features lie at the core of organization and as result determine brand development and strategies for communicating clients. The values at the heart of company’s activity and interaction with stakeholders reflect its maturity and strength.
Corporate “commandments” as business basis
The development of audit firms goes through different stages. At the beginning the most important thing is founder’s zeal and energy. When the company grows, that involves increase in workload and number of employees, the need arises for its structuring. For this purpose, the structure creates, functions are divided, the procedures for communication between divisions and key persons are determined, the description of business processes are made, etc. The company continues to rapidly grow (best-case scenario), occupying a larger market segment. At a particular stage the company need planning, strategic management as they provide additional governance and strength. However, rigidly structured company where everything is made due to orders makes employees feel like they are cogs in a big impersonalized machine and this entails problems with loyalty, motivation and responsibility. The employees find themselves to be an exploited resource and behave towards company in the same manner.
For further development of business, a unifying element is needed. It can be corporate ideology: values, code, mission, etc. Common values make company stronger and provide consolidating idea and sense.
If the company is a building, then the values are its foundation. When the company realizes its advantages and basic rules that reflect company’s nature, it is easier to choose the direction, understand what employees fit the company and how to react in a particular situation.
Why is it important for company to have strong values and clear specifying rules?
Such values-oriented management proves to be efficient. The company is characterized by internal cohesion, high motivation that gives an opportunity to provide staff’s loyalty, engage experts, set itself apart from the competitors and create unique brand.
Successful companies have a common trait: their values are rarely changed throughout decades. Genuine words with real ideas behind them don’t change no matter when they were formulated – a decade or a century ago. Clearly stated and “alive” values help company to be efficient at all levels.
Numerous studies showed that the values system promotes successful implementation of business goals. Satisfied clients, high quality of operational processes, favorable environment, effective strategic decisions and their implementation are by no means an exhaustive list of benefits the well-considered philosophy provides. The values help to determine how to act in a uncertain situations, give direction and coordinate the company.
Moreover, they are a constituent part of company’s image, brand. If company’s values are right, it enables the chief with the opportunity to reduce the control function and pay more attention to the strategic matters.
Principles of corporate values implementation
For starters, the appropriate model for values implementation must be prepared. For this purpose, company’s top management develops (engaging the consultants, if need be) business ideological concept (mission, corporate code, values, etc.). “Ideological” texts must be unique, “addressed directly to you and your company”, enhance creation of specific business image, motivate employees to achieve results, clients to use company’s services and investors to give their money. In simple words, they must invoke positive response: interest, inspiration, willingness to act.
The next stage is to elaborate the program of values implementation in company’s day-to-day activity. This program provides for special events (presentations, corporate style, brand marks development, etc.), workshops, new processes that supersede the old ones, e.g. rules for assessment of staff not only for competence and efficiency but also for adherence to corporate culture.
The top management must become a role model. But for average employees the most prominent will be the example given by their immediate superiors. This means that the middle management will play more important role.
New principles should not be imposed. It is better to engage all the employees in the discussion which can improve the existing concept and develop deeper understanding.
Crises and problem situations can also be used for development of new principles.
But one should avoid the most common mistakes that prohibit preparation and implementation of new corporate philosophy: formalizing its creation, focusing on external features, dawdling on its introduction and communication to the employees and using templated language of ideological texts.