Need further persuasion that values are big business? Today being official World Values Day should do the trick.

The UK Values Alliance has earmarked October 20th as a chance for the “many values driven organisations all over the world” to “speak up for values”. From Diageo’s DrinkiQ responsible drinking website, to Etsy’s entrepreneurship courses for the under-employed, more and more big names in biz are waking up and smelling the values-scented coffee.

And it smells good. As our survey showed, 78% of millennials would be more committed and motivated at work if their employer made a positive impact on society. With many businesses reliant on their talent to stand out from the crowd, it’s not surprising that ‘values’ are now common parlance around the water cooler.

But is this another case of all talk, no walk? Or yet more evidence of ‘greenwashing’ and business jargon with very little meaning behind it?

Arguably not; ‘values’ has been taken up on a far greater scale than previously seen. Even PepsiCo, a brand long associated with ‘fun’ rather than ‘good’, now has its values centred around improving the health of its employees, customers and the environment.

Yet whilst the phrase seems to be experiencing that longed for longevity, many firms are still failing to get the ‘value’ out of ‘values’. Why? Because values aren’t just abstract principles to be held up high. To achieve their full potential they need to be attached to specific behaviours. It is only when your company values are entrenched within every part of your structure, from providing direction in decision making processes, to bringing focus to your hiring criteria and office culture, that you will reap the full benefits. After all, our research found that 58% of 16-24 year olds wouldn’t work as hard at an organisation whose actions contradicted its values.

At Kin&Co we are committed to this principle that values means actions, not just words. Once we’ve helped our clients to distill their core values, we assist them in role-modelling how these values will actually be used to drive success in diverse situations and scenarios. This takes values beyond being a nice, but dispensable, decorative backdrop. Instead they become the cement at the core of the business as it builds, helping stick together every decision and strategy to make a coherent, mighty whole. A valuable proposition indeed, especially on World Values Day

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