Here’s Why Knowing A Company’s Values Is Critical


Suppose I were to ask you to name three or four strengths you have that are work-related. Now I start timing you. How much time would you need to do this? If it takes you 5 seconds to do this, you know yourself extremely well because you are consciously aware of not only what your job requirements are, but you are equally aware of your personal strengths as they relate to your ability to perform that job well.

On the other hand, if you struggle to answer the question promptly, can only partially answer the question or can’t answer it at all, it would suggest you either don’t really know your self well, or you are in a job where what is required and what you bring to the job are not a good match. To stay in a job that isn’t a good match for your skills without starting to look for another job that is a better fit is not a good idea. Sooner or later you might find yourself fired.

Think of the person at the top of your organization. Perhaps it’s the founder of the company, the owner or operator, maybe a Chief Executive Officer etc. The person who started the company had some passion for the business, saw an opportunity, and seized it by applying their skills to run the business. As the business grew, the company naturally had to hire more people, and those people weren’t selected at random, they were hand-selected because they were deemed to have the skills the company needed at the time they were hired. But skills alone are not what companies look for.

I’m sure you’ve heard of situations – maybe even experienced them yourselves – where someone complained they didn’t get a job even though they appeared to be entirely qualified. So why not? The answer is that someone else had the same qualifications but brought something more; and the more is what you need to think about. Often what the person who is successfully hired brings is an attitude and knowledge of the company that reflects what the company is striving to represent.

Let me be clear. When a new business starts up, the owner is 100% in control of his image, and can be sure that all the people who come into contact with the company have the same identical experience. When the owner hires a second person, they will try to find someone who is equally passionate about the business, and will probably tell them that how they represent themselves is critically important so that customers and clients have the experience with the newly hired person that would be just like dealing with the owner him or herself.

This method of hiring is repeated again and again with each new hire being briefed on the goals and the values that the owner has. If someone has all the skills required by doesn’t or can’t work with the same attitude when it comes to customers, then the customer will go away with a different experience. And that different experience if repeated enough, means the original owners message is no longer the one people are receiving. Regular, long-term customers are going to respond negatively to the new message, and will continue to buy anyhow, or far more likely, switch their purchasing power to another source where they get treated the way they used to.

If you take the time to find out what’s behind all those bullets in a job description, you’ll ask questions and do research that’s designed to find out the right information to know BEFORE you apply for a job. The most valuable thing to learn is what key things the company values. The ‘company’ of course is really a collection of people. So what you are looking for is the core values that people share who work at a company. When you have this information, you should then ask yourself if those values are values you have. If you don’t share those values, it is NOT recommended that you apply, because even if you were to get the job, your true values will surface, and you’ll be conflicted; either having to change your values or keep them to yourself and appear to have different values while working there, and sometimes appearing to have those values outside the workplace on your own time.

And this is why people may be unhappy, stressed out, let go, fired or not even hired in the first place. The fit you see, is not a good one and the company cannot afford to take the chance that hiring the ‘wrong’ person will cost them their reputation they have worked so hard at building. And imagining you yourself were the owner of the company who founded it based on your values, you’d be looking to hire people who were like-minded. If presented with two people to interview and hire for one job, you’d likely settle on the one who brings not only skills, but shares your values and brings that attitude.

When you say to yourself or others something like, “I can’t be bothered researching a company’s values. It takes too long and I just need a job. I don’t see the point.”, you are right. You don’t get it. And by ‘it’, I mean you don’t get the interview, and you don’t get the job. There’s no mystery here, you couldn’t be bothered, and quite frankly, neither can the company.

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