Core value statements anchor every aspect of a business. They’re a set of commonly held beliefs and commitments. And what you want is for your values to become the deeply ingrained principle and fabric that guide employee behavior and company decisions and actions.

At their best, they are true reflections of what your company believes — and management and employees are willing to live by. HR can help by evaluating your firm’s culture and finding out what can work for it. Focus, consistency and discipline will emanate from the values, reflecting through the leaders in your company who then instill the same resolve and focus in their teams.

When your company’s leaders are aligned with its culture as infused in your company values, it makes everyone’s job easier. It makes employee engagement easy to handle, finding good leaders and hiring people who will continue building a great culture around the leaders and employees.

The key to bringing company values front and center is to convert them into specific behavioral examples. By modeling and rewarding behaviors that demonstrate each value, you constantly remind employees of what the company stands for and how to better work by these principles. Observable behaviors make it easier for employers to measure and manage company standards.

How to bring your company values to life?

  • Feature your core values list on the company website and in the employee handbook, and post them in conference rooms and snack rooms. You can even have them painted on the walls throughout the office to serve as a daily reminder for the team.
  • Hire based on values. Building a workforce that lives and works by your company values starts with hiring based on the list. You can develop a list of questions designed to assess a candidate’s character and potential fit. It will help in finding talent that shares and fulfills your values. This is crucial to building a workforce that can successfully apply company ethics to everything they do.
  • Work and play by values. Don’t let your values sit on the wall and call it a day. Live, work and play by them on a daily basis. Align them with core value activities. Lead by example — show employees how it’s done by using company character to guide business decisions and empowering employees to do the same.
  • Reward and promote values. Reward behaviors that demonstrate your core list. Don’t hesitate to publicly reward someone for exhibiting behaviors that are in line with your company’s character. This makes individuals feel good and pushes the rest of the company to follow suit.

Your list of core values answers these questions: What is important at your company? What is unique about working there? You’ll see that you can group ideas that feature similar thoughts and find patterns in the underlying relationships.