How can you effectively convey your firm’s core values to your employees, encouraging them to embody these values and become enthusiastic advocates for your firm’s external marketing efforts?

When it comes to running a successful firm, core values might not be the first thing that comes to mind. After all, in the fast-paced world of deadlines, profits, and competition, it’s easy to overlook the importance of these abstract principles. But here’s the thing: core values can be the driving force behind a thriving firm. They define your character, shape your culture, and guide your decisions. More than that, they play a pivotal role in fostering trust, creating a genuine connection, and enhancing your external marketing efforts. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can effectively convey your company’s core values to your employees and inspire them to become enthusiastic advocates for your brand.

The Power of Authenticity

Authenticity is the heart of conveying core values effectively. It’s about making these values more than just words on a wall; it’s about bringing them to life through genuine connections and storytelling. Authenticity resonates with people on a deep level because it’s real. It’s not manufactured; it’s a reflection of who you are and what your company stands for.

Reflecting on Your Values

To encourage your employees to embrace your company’s core values, start by incorporating moments of reflection into your meetings. Ask questions like “What’s working well lately?” or “If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?” These questions open the door for employees to share their real experiences and insights about their roles and how they align with the company’s core values.

The Importance of Conveying Core Values

But why are core values so crucial in the first place? They play multiple essential roles:

  • Defining character and culture: Core values define your company’s character and culture. They represent what your business stands for at its core and the behaviours and mindsets that are valued. These values help shape your company’s culture and guide the decisions you make.
  • Informing stakeholder expectations: Communicating your core values helps set the right expectations among customers, employees, partners, investors, and the public. This transparency builds trust.
  • Guiding business practices: Your core values act as guideposts to align business practices, employee actions, and messaging. This consistency results in ethical practices that reinforce your brand.
  • Inspiring engagement: When stakeholders connect with your values, it fosters strong relationships and emotional investment that go beyond financial transactions.
  • Differentiating your brand: In a crowded marketplace, conveying authentic and aligned core values makes your brand more distinctive and memorable.

Encouraging Employee Buy-In

To encourage employees to embody and believe in your core values, you need to:

  • Lead by example: Management needs to authentically model the values in their decisions and actions. It’s about walking the talk.
  • Involve employees: Invite staff to participate in evolving and defining the values, so they feel involved and feel a sense of ownership. Collaboration and co-creation foster buy-in.
  • Share stories: Use your internal communications to showcase examples of the values in action as this builds awareness.
  • Integrate your values into your hiring and training: Evaluate for culture fit and train new hires on the company’s values and their importance. Have them acknowledge the values early on.
  • Positive reinforcement: When employees demonstrate the values, recognise and reward them. Positive reinforcement works.
  • Accountability: Hold people accountable and incorporate adherence to values into performance evaluations.
  • Assess, refine and evolve your values: Regularly evaluate how well the firm lives the values and make improvements as needed.

Examples of Core Values in Action

Here are a few real-world examples of companies effectively conveying their core values:

  • A law firm that awards staff for logging pro bono hours to support the value of community service.
  • A CEO who champions sustainability by driving to work in an electric vehicle and powering the office with renewable energy.
  • A firm that realises employees are burnt out and updates their values to include work-life balance and creates processes that give them space when they need it.

Changing or Refining Core Values

If your company is looking to change or refine its core values, follow these steps:

  • Explain the why: Provide context around the reasons for changing the values and how they better serve the company’s current needs.
  • Involve employees early: Get input from employees on reshaping the values. This creates ownership in the process.
  • Announce it officially: Have leadership formally announce and explain the core value update through meetings, emails, events etc.
  • Update key materials: Refresh materials like websites, job postings, onboarding content etc. to reflect the new values.
  • Model the changes: Have managers visibly role model the new values on a daily basis. Lead by example.
  • Reinforce your values continuously: Reference the updated values frequently in communications, training, and activities to drive adoption.
  • Invite feedback: Provide open channels for employees to ask questions, give input, and discuss the changes.
  • Evaluate adoption: Survey employees on their understanding of and buy-in to the new core values and address gaps.
  • Recognise those who embody the values: Identify employees exhibiting the new values and recognise their alignment through rewards.
  • Update your processes to reflect your values: Align internal processes like performance management and hiring to reinforce the updated values.

Emerging Trends and Technologies

Whilst there are loads of tools on the marketing to capture and foster employee engagement and how your team are living your values, there are also some great tools and technologies that you can use to convey your core values to employees, particularly for large firms that have a remote workforce. These include:

Artificial Intelligence:

AI-powered tools were used in recruitment to remove biases in the hiring process and ensure that candidates align with the firm’s values.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR):

Some forward-thinking firms were exploring the use of VR and AR to immerse employees in virtual experiences that align with the company’s core values. These technologies can be used for onboarding, training, and team-building exercises.


Gamification platforms were being used to make the communication of core values more engaging and interactive. Employees could participate in games and challenges that reinforced the company’s values.

One Thing You Can Do Right Now

If you want your team to buy into your firm’s values, then lead by example and be authentic and genuine. Your actions should align with the values you promote. You expect one thing from your team, and you do something else, this erodes credibility and trust. Consistency is key, and authenticity fosters trust and credibility.

In conclusion, conveying and living your company’s core values is not just about words; it’s about creating an authentic, purpose-driven culture that resonates with employees and stakeholders alike. By embracing authenticity, involving employees, and modelling values in action, you can build a strong, values-driven firm that stands out in today’s competitive marketplace.

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