When we talk about elevating the employee experience, there is no way to achieve employee satisfaction without defining the company’s core values of your place of work. Before you brush off listing the core values of a company as a meaningless task, understand how examining company values examples can shed light on what principles define both a strong workforce and an inimitable public reputation.

What are company values?

Company values examples of core company values

First, let’s start with the basics. Company values are the core principles that define a company. The core values of a company are its guiding tenets. They convey both the fundamental beliefs of the organization and the standards it upholds above all else. (Sneak peek of what’s to come: some company values examples include respect, integrity, and innovation.)

Company values are a key part of company culture, as they set the standard for how employees should behave. They also dictate a clear set of morals to customers. A company’s core values affect more than just employees and customers. They also play a major role in creating a company’s reputation. This means that company values dictate a lot about a company to potential investors and shareholders.

Discover why your company needs core values:

People want to work for companies that stand for something. In a post-COVID world, workers no longer wish to align themselves with faceless companies and blindly follow celebrities and influencers. Rather, consumers and workers alike are choosing to buy from and work for companies that demonstrate their beliefs and stances. They also seek companies that show their human sides.

Companies will give themselves a competitive advantage and set out on a path of long-term success if they build their company to be more than just a producer of goods and services. This is no longer the experience that consumers wish to have, especially not in the age of personalization and customization.

For example, nearly 90% of consumers reported that the experience provided by a company is just as important as the actual services or products received, according to Salesforce. Centering a company around a clear set of values not only dictates these standards to the public but also influences how workers operate within the company and handle themselves professionally.

Learn how to set core values that reflect your company’s vision:

Before we get into company values examples, it’s necessary to understand how to set your company’s core values in a way that reflects the vision of the company. All the values listed below will likely align with the kind of company you wish to be. However, selecting several values to hone in on allows for focus on fostering specific areas of significance.

Consider the kind of company you are and the mission statement you already have. For example, a clean-eating company might select a value that focuses on sustainability and explain why this initiative is significant to the company. A data privacy company might understandably focus its standards on trust and data protection. Perhaps some companies will focus on discretion (like a medical institution) while others (like tech firms) boldly champion innovation.

Promote your company values to your employees:

The core values of a company should be easy to access, routinely emphasized, and subject to periodic change due to growth. Like an employee onboarding handbook, they are a living document. This means that they can be tweaked or even updated and changed over time.

It should be a major role of the internal comms department to communicate and promote company core values to employees and reinforce their significance to team members. Sharing resources that are in line with the core values of a company on a company intranet platform can help to facilitate this education.

The core values of a company should be listed on appropriate channels with your goals and target groups kept in mind. If you already use multichannel platforms, your job has just become a little easier, because then you only have to input the content once to distribute it through the various channels.

Having an overview page on your intranet or employee app is a must. However, analog channels such as posters and brochures can share your core company values with greater parts of the workforce and reinforce the message. Ultimately, it’s key to know how to reach whom to achieve the greatest possible reach.

Formulate compelling core company values in 5 steps:

The values of a company cannot just be pulled out of a hat — they must fit the company’s DNA and be deeply rooted in its beliefs. With the following five steps, you can formulate values for your company to give it an authentic competitive advantage. Then, you can decide which values to choose for your organization.

1. Define goals in a values team: Set clear goals for your company values, such as improving employee satisfaction or strengthening company culture. Assemble a diverse values team from various departments to ensure all perspectives are considered.

2. Conduct an assessment: Analyze the current company culture, history, mission, and vision. Engage employees through surveys and workshops to gather insights into the existing culture and desired core principles.

3. Set & formulate core values: With the values team, identify the core values of your company. Aim for three to seven key values. Ensure these values are clear, concise, and action-oriented. Examples (which we’ll later expand upon) include “focus on the user,” “money without doing evil,” and “fast is better than slow.”

4. Communicate & integrate values: Share the company values with all employees and integrate them into daily operations, including recruiting and performance evaluations. Use workshops and gamification to help employees internalize these values.

5. Gather feedback & adjust: Continuously collect feedback from employees on the company values and adjust them as needed. Revisit the values during significant company changes to ensure they remain relevant and effective.

Now that there is a plan set in place, are you ready to discover which core company values are best suited to your company?

20 Company Core Values Examples

woman and man examining notes that contain company values examples

What are company values that create a healthy, productive, future-thinking workplace people want to work for? What core values attract customers and investors? The following list delves into 20 company core values examples to help stir ideas for which attributes you want to tie to your business. Remember: try to select just 3-7 core values for your company. Keep in mind that you can personalize options.

1. Honesty & Accountability

Though the list of company core values examples is not ranked in order of importance, honesty and accountability nonetheless stand at the top of the pack. Fostering a culture of clear, transparent, communication in which all members of a company have equal access to communication will go a long way in building trust among employees. This is why it’s paramount that all employees have equal access to news, information, and changes.

Meanwhile, employees should be empowered to make their own choices and be held responsible for navigating their positions. Accountability ensures that everyone takes ownership of their roles and the outcomes of their actions. This not only encourages personal and professional growth but also fosters a culture of integrity and responsibility within the organization. Incorporating accountability into a company’s core values means setting clear expectations. It also includes providing the necessary resources and support and recognizing and rewarding those who uphold these standards.

2. Integrity

A commitment to integrity should be one of the core value examples a company always exhibits to both the public and the internal workforce. This commitment demonstrates that the organization values ethical behavior and transparency. Therefore, integrity builds trust and credibility with customers, partners, and employees alike. Integrity is overall crucial for fostering a positive and productive workplace culture.

What exactly does integrity in the workplace mean? Having integrity includes behaving in an upstanding manner that others would be proud of or admire. Team members should conduct themselves with particular ethics in mind. People should take responsibility, be honest, and keep their commitments and promises. To enforce the core company principle of integrity, it will need to be demonstrated from the top down as executives and managers must lead by example.

3. Inclusion

Now we have a different set of core values for a company: diversity, equity, and inclusion. These organizational frameworks seek to promote fair treatment and inclusion of all people, including groups that have been historically misrepresented. Having DE&I standards in place is a necessity to promote diversity. So, naming a commitment to DE&I as a company core value truly underscores the significance of diversity in the workforce.

What are company values that promote a happy and healthy workplace? Inclusion is at the top of the list. A survey from 2023 found that 56% of American workers think increasing DE&I at work is a good thing. Meanwhile, a CNBC survey found that nearly 80% of workers surveyed said they want to work for companies that value DE&I. Such initiatives ensure that all employees have equal access to jobs and promotions. DE&I emphasis also allows employees to feel supported and welcome in the workforce.

4. Respect

Another core company value that many companies value highly is respect. Respect is multi-faceted. It plays a role in improving the employee experience, but also is a major factor in customer care. Signifying that your company champions respect as a main value can convey a strong message to customers that they can trust who they are working with or buying from. It also sets the standards for how employees treat each other.

A Harvard Business Review study polled 20,000 employees and found that respect was the most important leadership behavior people ranked. Cultivating respect in a workplace builds a positive company culture with increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction, improved collaboration, reduced stress, and heightened trust. Respect is an essential element that contributes to a satisfied environment. This makes it one of the core principles of any thriving company.

5. Ethical Conduct

Some increasingly relevant company values examples include focusing on ethical conduct and data privacy. Consumers and workers alike want to ensure that a company has ethical standards in place. This could mean carefully deciding who they make deals with and what environmental impact they have, as well as how sensitive data is handled.

Concerns over data protection and privacy have become increasingly relevant. Centering core values for a company around ethical conduct can help to build trust. Making it clear that you will protect the data of all involved users can help alleviate stress among both employees and customers.

Ethical standards can include disclosing fair labor practices, taking environmental responsibility, being transparent, having DE&I initiatives, implementing anti-corruption policies (such as zero bribery in politics), fostering community engagement activities, holding product safety and quality inspections, and taking human rights initiatives. Choose ethical practices that align with your brand and make it clear how your company embodies them.

6. Teamwork

When it comes to ways to improve employee experiences, champion teamwork. Highly engaged teams have 21% greater profitability according to Gallup findings. Promoting your workplace as one that emphasizes collaboration among employees demonstrates a strong company where employees can pool their shared knowledge to achieve great results.

In the age of hybrid workplaces, it’s particularly important to emphasize the importance of teamwork. Keep remote workers connected to their teams through communication channels and employee apps. Not only does teamwork raise profitability, but it increases the outcome of work, as collaboration often leads to better results. Meanwhile, teamwork fosters a sense of morale and unity.

7. Sustainability

Declaring sustainability as one of the core values of a company signifies a commitment to long-term efforts for the betterment of the planet. This demonstrates that one of the core principles of the organization is to take steps to achieve living and working conditions that support sustainable efforts.

The employee experience also reflects sustainable efforts. Workplace changes can include being a paperless workplace, forgoing air conditioning, and having office compost. Sustainable standards also affect customer experiences, as products might be locally sourced or produced with an emphasis on being eco-friendly.

Keep in mind that stats indicate that 78% of consumers find sustainability to be important, with 55% of consumers willing to pay more for eco-friendly brands. Meanwhile, 84% of customers said that they would reject a brand or company with poor environmental practices.

8. Customer Experience

Customer experience, or a focus on the user, is a vital element of any good business. In fact, to many businesses, it is the most important element of success. (Although focusing on the customers at the expense of workers is never a smart business model.)

According to a Hubspot 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey, 68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand that has a reputation for offering good customer service experiences. Then, Hupspot discovered in a 2022 survey that 88% of their survey pool said that customers have higher expectations compared to previous years. HubSpot also found that 93% of consumers will make repeat purchases if a company has excellent customer service.

Successful businesses are those that have established reputations for valuing customer experience. This includes reliable service, open lines of communication, and conflict resolution solutions for unagreeable products. Poor customer service is a fast way to tank an otherwise good company, so a focus on the customers is an excellent core company value to implement.

9. Innovation

What are company values examples that lead to profit increase? Well, all the aforementioned values do improve profit, as they contribute to creating a better employee experience and a strong company culture. However, championing innovation is a surefire way to strive for success.

Having innovative employees gives a company a competitive advantage. Innovation drives the development of new products, services, and processes that can differentiate a company from its competitors. This not only attracts new customers but also retains existing ones by continuously meeting and exceeding their expectations.

Innovation also enables a company to swiftly respond to market changes and disruptions. By investing in innovation, companies can unlock new revenue streams, reduce costs through improved efficiencies, and achieve sustained growth and profitability.

10. High-Quality Standards

One company core value that will breed trust among customers is a commitment to high-quality standards. This means that customers can rely on a company to produce consistent products over time that do not depreciate in quality. It also means that companies jettison offers of cheaper manufacturing if it reduces quality, which ensures long-term customer retention.

An unwavering dedication to quality overall enhances the company’s reputation in the marketplace. High-quality products and services lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can result in positive word-of-mouth referrals and a stronger brand image. Additionally, maintaining superior quality standards can reduce costs associated with returns, repairs, and customer complaints.

Meanwhile, emphasizing quality also fosters a culture of excellence for the employee experience, as it encourages employees to take pride in their work and continuously strive for improvement. By prioritizing quality, companies can differentiate themselves from competitors, command premium pricing, and secure a loyal customer base that values reliability.

11. Feedback & Improvement

Growth and feedback are two things that go hand in hand. In order to foster a workplace that sees employees continuously improving, you need to have a feedback culture. Routinely collect feedback, such as in 1-1 sessions with managers and through anonymous company surveys. It should also be provided, as it is essential feedback remains both an open-door policy and a two-way street.

Employees are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best at work if they feel their voice is heard according to a Salesforce study. Fostering a culture of feedback takes away any discomfort or nervousness employees might have regarding feedback conversations. Instead, they can become a natural aspect of maintaining a strong company and improving the employee experience, as well as the overall company.

12. Workplace Safety

A strong commitment to workplace safety is a fundamental aspect of company values that underscores a company’s dedication to protecting its employees. By ensuring a safe work environment, companies comply with regulatory requirements and foster a culture of trust and security. Employees, especially those who experience potential risks at work, need to know what standards are in place to protect them.

Companies that should particularly consider emphasizing workplace safety include those that include physical labor, machinery, and hazardous environments. Workplace safety is a heightened concern in industries such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and transportation.

Demonstrating a commitment to workplace safety can lead to higher employee satisfaction and productivity, as workers feel valued and protected. Prioritizing workplace safety overall demonstrates a company’s long-term investment in its most important asset — its people.

13. Team Empowerment

Defining company core values is not just about what values signal a positive company for the external world. While teamwork was listed as a company core value example, team empowerment focuses on cultivating strong teams that are autonomous. Empowering teams is a core value that drives innovation and success within a company. When employees are given the freedom and resources to make decisions, they are more likely to take initiative and contribute to the company’s goals.

This empowerment enhances job satisfaction and fosters a collaborative work environment where creativity and problem-solving thrive. By investing in team empowerment, companies can create a dynamic and resilient workforce capable of navigating challenges and seizing opportunities.

14. Employee Well-Being

Prioritizing employee well-being is essential for maintaining a strong company culture. This involves offering comprehensive benefits, promoting work-life balance, and creating a supportive work environment. Employee well-being means protecting and nurturing both mental and physical health initiatives that support an overall well-balanced workforce.

Employee well-being standards can include advertising fitness initiatives or mental health resources. Companies that focus on employee well-being see improved employee satisfaction and retention, as well as increased productivity. By valuing the well-being of their employees, companies can build a loyal and motivated workforce dedicated to achieving long-term success.

15. Adaptability

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, adaptability is a crucial core value. Companies that embrace change and remain flexible are better positioned to respond to market shifts and emerging trends. PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023 reported that 83% of employees believe adaptability and flexibility will play an important role in their careers over the next 5 years.

Adaptability can lead to finding innovative solutions and gaining a competitive advantage. By fostering a culture of adaptability, companies ensure that they can thrive in uncertain environments and continue to meet the evolving needs of their customers and employees. Adaptability essentially provides security, as employees and customers know that their company can withstand changes and survive crises.

16. Continual Learning & Development

A commitment to continual learning and development is vital for a company’s long-term growth and innovation. By investing in employee training and development programs, companies can enhance their workforce’s skills and knowledge. This wise move leads to improved performance and productivity.

The core value of continual learning supports long-term success by ensuring that employees are equipped to handle new challenges and contribute to the company’s goals. Companies that prioritize continual learning foster a culture of growth and excellence that can withstand a changing workforce and meet growing demands.

Citing continual learning are a company core value is one way to attract and retain top talent. A Ceridian report found that 86% of employees find it important for their employers to provide continual learning opportunities. This leads to employees feeling happier at their jobs, more engaged in their work, and more likely to remain with the company.

17. Communication

Effective communication is the backbone of a strong company. In today’s digital age, where information crosses all borders, clear and open communication is essential for global collaboration and success. By prioritizing communication, companies can create a cohesive work environment where ideas are shared and teamwork flourishes.

Utilizing tools like an employee app can enhance internal communication, ensuring that everyone is informed and engaged. Investing in communication and emphasizing its value can also mean building up your internal comms team, who contribute significantly to employee engagement and satisfaction. Employees need to be provided information regularly, clearly, and accurately. They are more likely to care about their work if they feel involved in decisions and informed about work changes.

18. Leadership

Investing in leadership communications can significantly impact a company’s success. Leadership communications ensures that leaders are equipped to inspire and guide their teams effectively. We already know that engaged employees are more profitable. Inspiration is also directly correlated to an increase in productivity, a boost in mood, and a stronger connection among teams.

And how do we cultivate inspiration? Invest in leadership and emphasize its significance in your company. Good leadership fosters a positive company culture, drives strategic initiatives, and helps navigate challenges. By prioritizing leadership development, companies can cultivate a team of capable leaders who are committed to the company’s vision and long-term success. Strong leaders create empowered and self-reliant employees who feel involved in the company.

19. Ownership & Responsibility

Like the company values examples of honesty and accountability, ownership and responsibility play a role in cultivating trust. Taking ownership empowers workers to be in charge of their own projects and tasks rather than rely on managers and team leaders for delegation.

The combined company core values of ownership and responsibility mean that workers take responsibility for their careers. They hold themselves accountable for their actions and have the autonomy to make choices. These values are particularly important for modern workforces that have dismantled the traditional work hierarchy in favor of promoting self-regulation.

20. Curiosity

Challenging the status quo in work environments is a must. In order to have progress, we need to foster curiosity among workers. Curiosity means asking questions and seeking answers. This leads to progress and innovation. Create a workforce where employees feel supported in taking risks and thinking outside of the box.

According to the SAS Curiosity Work Report shared by Forbes, leaders believe that curiosity enables greater efficiency and productivity (56%), the innovation of new solutions (59%), and greater overall employee engagement (52%). Most managers also agree that curiosity is valuable when innovating new solutions (59%), tackling complex problems (57%), and for general employee satisfaction (52%).

Company Value Examples from Top Organizations

Before we wrap things up, let’s examine some good company values that have been demonstrated by existing companies.

Company Value Examples: Staffbase

At Staffbase, for example, we divided our company core values into three distinct categories that are emphasized in all areas of work.

The Staffbase core values are: We take ownership. We truly care. When you grow, we all grow.

Staffbase wishes to instill personal responsibility in all employees, which is why taking ownership is the first value, and initiative is encouraged. The value of truly caring relates to the customer and employee experience and encompasses respect and authenticity. Lastly, growth is a key value of the company, as change and curiosity are traits to be embraced.

We get better every day, act with humility and ambition, and are enabled by our commitment to learning, honest feedback, and open minds.

Staffbase company core value on growth

Company Value Examples: Google

If you want to dive deeper into company values examples, just take a look at what Google defined in their piece, “Ten things we know to be true.” Google first defined these ten company truths — which speak to their values as an organization — when Google was just a few years old. However, they have since been revisited over time to ensure they are always truthful to Google.

Values in the current Google list include:

  1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
  3. Fast is better than slow.
  4. Democracy on the web works.
  5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
  6. You can make money without doing evil.
  7. There’s always more information out there.
  8. The need for information crosses all borders.
  9. You can be serious without a suit.
  10. Great just isn’t good enough.

Google accompanied each company values example with an explanation about what the defined value means to the corporation and how it embodies it. This is a powerful example of creating strong company values that convey the core principles of a company in a way that builds trust with both employees and consumers.

Company Value Examples: Nike

A final example of a well-defined company core values sample can be found by visiting the Nike website. Nike clearly outlines the values of the company under both mission and vision statements.

Nike lists its values as:

  • Do the right thing
  • Be on the offense always
  • Serve athletes*
  • Create the future of sport
  • Win as a team

If you’re worried that Nike might be excluding some people with their values, the company boldly declares in its mission statement that “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” As one of the leading footwear and apparel corporations worldwide, Nike makes it clear that they encompass many traits of athleticism that are reflected in their consumers, sponsors, partners, and ads. However, they also stand for more universal values that show their integrity, such as by declaring, “Do the right thing.

Closing Words on Company Values Examples

We live in a socially conscious world. People ask themselves, how can I make money without doing evil? (Have you heard the saying, there’s no such thing as an ethical billionaire?) Defining your company core values — which will hopefully be easier to do given the company core values examples above — is the way to distinguish your organization and announce the values you stand for both internally and externally.