How Strong Company Values Build the Team Fledgling Startups Need

Cash-strapped startups can attract and retain committed employees by offering opportunity and a mission.

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By Firas Kittaneh

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Entrepreneurs and employees are driven by opportunity and a strong company mission. Workers, especially millennials, are not motivated purely by profit. They prefer to do work that inspires them, alongside good people and in an environment that promotes their personal and professional growth.

In his 2012 TED talk, behavioral economist Dan Ariely posed the question, "What makes us feel good about our work?" The surprising answer was "most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose." Companies with strong core values express themselves in a way that attracts and retains employees who undeniably love what they do and perform at their very best.

Not convinced? Here are nine important benefits of a cohesive company culture.

1. Values breed dedication and loyalty.

According to, "The long-term success of any company depends heavily upon the quality of its workers and worker loyalty." Strong values keep people engaged and put a stopper on revolving doors. Employees that love the work they do and the people they work with are in it for the long-haul.

Related: How Thoughtful Leaders Earn Employee Loyalty

2. Values encourage collaboration.

A lack of workplace values can be isolating. On the other hand, an organization with strong values is inclusive. Mission-driven workers tend to be less selfish and more supportive of each other. Collaborative teams consistently produce better deliverables because they work together.

3. Values shape customer service.

There's a reason why Zappos offers the best customer service ever. The company's #1 family core value is "Deliver WOW Through Service." Businesses that choose to prioritize the needs of the customer can easily turn grumpy buyers into brand evangelists.

4. Values sell your product.

When customers share the same values, they are more inclined to support your business. Warby Parker's giving spirit is contagious. With every pair of glasses they sell, they donate another to charity. At their low price, customers think of it as a bargain -- to be able to give to someone needy and purchase a pair of fashionable glasses.

5. Values align personal goals with organizational goals.

Instead of taking measures to ensure job security or guarantee a promotion, employees spend more time focusing on initiatives that will help the business reach bigger milestones. Engaged workers take a holistic approach to problem solving and prioritize tasks that are right for the company.

Related: Drive Success by Converging Employee's Goals With the Overall Organization

6. Values build self-awareness.

A clear mission empowers employees to easily distinguish between what's right and what's wrong. This also helps managers and workers learn from their mistakes to become better people and be better at their jobs.

7. Values create accountability.

Employees who take full responsibility for their actions are often more reliable and trustworthy. In companies where workers feel accountable to each other and the overall organization, they work hard to produce meaningful results and to avoid disappointing their peers.

8. Values encourage critical dialogue and pushback.

Successful businesses need balance, with feedback that comes from every member of the organization. Open dialogue is possible when team members prompt each other to reflect on how new decisions impact the company's core values and its long-term growth.

9. Values provide stability.

When a startup doubles its headcount, loses a big customer, receives a major round of funding, or pivots, the big changes ahead can create anxiety and uncertainty for employees. To put people at ease, entrepreneurs and business managers make it a point to express and reinforce the company's core values. This provides workers with the security and stability they need to remain happy, productive and successful.

Fledgling startups that hope to build a business that customers, investors and workers admire ought to consistently develop and promote strong company values.

Related: The Challenge of Keeping Your Culture Intact When the Business Is Growing Quickly

Firas Kittaneh

Serial Entrepreneur • CEO at Amerisleep • CEO at OCLU

Firas Kittaneh is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of amerisleep. Most recently, he launched OCLU to improve how we record our most memorable moments.

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