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Writing a Great Value Statement Can Bring In Tons of Money for Your Business

Writing a Great Value Statement Can Bring In Tons of Money for Your Business

Stepping into the world of business can be exciting at first, but it’s only a matter of time before you realize that not everything will go according to plan. Regardless of industry, all businesses will have to contend with unexpected challenges. Customers complaining, sales dropping, employee productivity going down – it’s an endless struggle that will push entrepreneurs well beyond their limits.

Amidst all the chaos, what’s important is that your business never loses its identity. If you remain true to a single value statement,[1] everyone – including employees, customers, and competitors – will give your brand the respect and recognition it deserves.

What is a Value Statement?

A value statement, also referred to as “mission statement”, describes an organization’s core beliefs. It often gives potential customers an idea on what to expect, which in turn may impact their purchase decision. Within the organization, value statements are declared to provide motivation and guidance to the staff.

Below are the four most important parts of an effective vision statement:

The problem – What is the specific problem your company is trying to solve?

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The solution – What services or products can you offer to solve this problem?

The audience – Who will benefit mainly from your proposed solution?

The commitment – Lastly, what are the core beliefs that make you different from your competitors?

Examples of Effective Value Statements

Time after time, industry leaders come up with powerful value statements that boost the popularity and authority of their brand.[2] For example, social media giant Twitter has a simple yet inspiring statement:

“To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”

L.L. Bean’s statement, on the other hand, revolves around providing value to customers and the importance of business ethics:[3]

“Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they will always come back for more.”

Other than businesses, entrepreneurs must have their own personal brand identities that can guide their future ideas into fruition and mold the way they function as business leaders.[4] Of course, powerful value statement messages also work wonders for PR. For example, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda highlights this statement in Gates Foundation:[5]

“…And so we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals around the world. From the education of students in Chicago, to the health of a young mother in Nigeria, we are catalysts of human promise everywhere”.

The Benefits of Having a Value Statement for Your Business

For some companies who overlook the importance of a value statement, it’s just a string of words that hang on the wall. But for others, it’s a method of empowerment for many reasons:

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It Simplifies Decision-Making

By getting your priorities straight from the get-go, future decisions can be based on which option benefits your core values the most. In other words, a value statement creates a template for future decision-making, allowing you to save time and focus more on developing strategies.

It Diminishes the Fear of Failure

The amount of money made is often used as the measure of success in an endeavor. But if every decision you make aligns with your value statement, then every outcome can be just as rewarding – knowing that it brought you closer to fulfilling your company’s purpose.

It Motivates Employees

The low employee engagement rate is a lingering issue in workplaces worldwide. According to statistics, only 29% of the U.S. workforce are fully engaged and committed to their organization.[6] This is mainly because paychecks become their sole motivators in companies that lack a concrete value statement. But if they know they’re contributing to a bigger cause, then not only will they work harder, they’ll also feel more connected with the company culture.

It Fosters Customer Loyalty

Surveys reveal that 34% of consumers will spread the word about a brand that is fair, honest, or pursues ethical actions.[7] 48% says that a company’s ethics is determined by employee treatment. By creating a value statement that resonates with both your employees and your target audience, you will surely win their trust and loyalty.[8]

How to Write a Powerful Value Statement for Your Business

If you can get employees working towards a common goal and customers believing in your cause, then success will surely follow. Here are some additional tips on creating a value statement:

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Get Everyone Involved

If you’re in the early stages of a startup, then there’s still plenty of time to gather everyone’s input and identify a vision that everyone is willing to share. Try asking every member to explain why they think the company exists. As a rule of thumb, prioritize a private meeting with board-level members before consulting everyone else.

Revisit the Identity of Your Brand

In the brainstorming process, try to focus on basic questions that help get to know your brand. For example, what is the story behind the company’s founding team? What do you want the company to look like in 5-10 years? Answering these questions will help you learn what has worked out for your brand so far.

Use the Three-Step Method

In the world of blogging, a core message is often condensed into one editorial mission statement, which can be created using three simple steps: addressing the audience, specifying the deliverables, and describing the desired outcome. For example:

“This article helps business leaders and entrepreneurs (the audience) with practical and actionable advice (the deliverables) on developing a powerful value statement to elevate their business (the outcome).”

Review, Revise, and Clarify

A value statement isn’t something you can easily change in the future. That said, try to come up with several drafts at first and let everyone vote for the best one. Make sure it’s succinct, attention-grabbing, and memorable.

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Remind Everyone

Finally, try to include your value statement in all touchpoints – including your company websites, product packaging, and various forms of branded content that are readily available to potential customers. Employees are typically made aware of your statement during the onboarding process and every day through in-office posters, ID tags, and company computer wallpapers.

Reference

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Published on December 17, 2018

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

The importance of asking great questions cannot be overstated. Great questions help you discover new things, diagnose existing problems, and explore how well solutions are working in your life or business. Whether you work with consultants, executives, or entry-level employees, you cannot skip questions.

Now imagine running a company where sustainability and profitability depends on your ability to determine the brightest minds and skills in the industry in a single conversation:

How do you know they’re the perfect fit for you? How do you assess their communication skills? How do you know they won’t cost your team in the long run?

You know it already; ask great questions!

The concept of asking questions isn’t new but there is a great chance that you’re not taking full advantage of it. A Harvard Business Review article refers to questioning as a powerful tool that unlocks value, fuels innovation and performance improvement.[1] As a hiring manager or recruiter, how to you get this information when you’re meeting a candidate for the first time?

Ask great questions, of course.

Without further ado, here are 15 interview questions to ask employees during an interview:

1. “What are your career goals?”

Another version of this question is “What types of problems do you see yourself solving in the future?”

This question is almost never asked and when it is asked, most questions are geared towards knowing how long the employees intends to stay in the company.

Instead of asking leading questions that would steer employees into declaring undying loyalty for the organization, ask what types of problems they hope to solve in the future.

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This does two things:

  1. It reveals the skills and interest in your employees.
  2. It lets you know what types of candidates you are attracting in the first place.

With this, you’re able to trend this data to improve how you market your job opening. And if employee retention is pertinent to you, you can use this information to improve the job function so that future employees can see their future selves in this role.

2. “Why do you think you’re a great fit?”

It is important to go beneath the surface to ask questions that make the candidates speak about themselves in their own words. However, a surprising benefit of asking this question is that you’re able to determine how well-versed a candidate really is with the company’s challenges and goals, in addition to their personal attributes.

Instead of listing off accomplishments, an exceptional employee is able to help you see how these previous accomplishment can translate into helping your organization solve its current business problems.

3. “What do you hope to learn from this role?”

The answers to this question can reveal if there is a job-skill match and if a linear career progression is expected.

As you listen carefully and mind these answers from candidates, you begin to see trends in responses that help you refine how you develop roles, responsibilities, how employees see themselves, and what they want their career to look like.

4. “How do you deal with conflict between colleagues?”

Almost every breakdown in relationship is caused by miscommunication or lack of effective interpersonal skills. But a solid indicator of how well a person communicates is how they manage interpersonal conflict.

Conflict management skills is no longer something required only for corporations who wish to settle million-dollar lawsuits. It’s an essential skill that every worker ought to possess and can make or break an organization.

Tip: Ask for a time when they didn’t get along with a co-worker and how they resolved the conflict.

5. “How did you learn about this position?”

Asking how they learned about the position reveals how the brand is perceived by the outside world. This way, you know if your current employees is your biggest source of referrals for qualified applicants.

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This also lets you know how effective your current staffing processes are and which channels are worth the effort.

6. “Why are you interested in this position?”

Again, another seemingly basic question. But when you field applications from candidates who are transferring their skills from a different department or industry, you want to know why the change was made.

What led to the aha moment? What was the internal struggle like for them? What stands out to them about this particular position? Very important.

7. “What excites you the MOST about this position?”

After establishing how passionate they are about this position, it’s not unusual that you would want to know what tasks and responsibilities excite them most. With this knowledge, not only are you aware of their sense of ownership, you help nurture these skills by encouraging and facilitating the discovery of hidden potential in your employees.

For example, a hospital nurse might detest inserting intravenous catheters in patients but jump at the task of motivating colleagues and initiating stress-reduction activities on hospital units. An office employee might cringe at the thought of public speaking but excel at creating world-class presentations.

While you can’t exempt your employee from every task in the role because they favor one thing over another, you are more aware of how rich your existing talent pool is in your organization and can utilize your talents effectively.

8. “What do you consider your weakness?”

Why should you ask a candidate what his or her weakness is when all you want is someone perfect?

Admitting a weakness shouldn’t automatically disqualify a candidate. Rather, it reveals to you how self-aware the candidate is.

Self-awareness is essential to personal and professional development, and this is sometimes a precursor to how self-directed a person is regarding their career goals.

There are arguments about the need to abolish the weakness question from interviews because it reduces candidates’ accomplishments. I disagree.

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Asking employees about weaknesses lets you understand your employees better so you can not only create a work environment that is smart, you’re able to design professional development programs that can strengthen these weaknesses.

9. “What will you find challenging about this position?”

Maybe you don’t want to ask the ”weakness question.” Maybe you’re more concerned about the capacity to perform in the current job rather than their job history.

Still, you want to know if you have a creative problem solver and how they feel about potential problems when they arise. You also want to anticipate how your employees will adjust to their roles once they are successfully hired. Self-awareness about one’s ability and limits can be observed by asking this question during an interview.

Note: This question should never be asked with a malicious intent. Exceptional employees come with flaws and this should be expected. They key is knowing whether the successful candidate is willing to be a problem solver.

10. “What additional support will you need during your transition?”

This is a very important question during the interview question because not only is the labor market diverse, the response to this question can be used to develop the orientation process and additional training materials.

As a mentor to newer nurses, this is a question I repeat more than 50 percent of the time during the orientation period. The responses I get provide me with insights into what employees really consider as constraints so that I can make their transition as smooth as possible.

11. “What qualities do you desire in a leader or manager?”

Not everyone desires a manager who provides direction while giving you free rein to make your job your own. At the same time, some employees might prefer a manager who is detail-oriented and provides all the answers.

Knowing this before a candidate is hired can prevent conflict arising from differences in communication or management styles.

12. “What do you do if you don’t agree with your manager’s decisions?”

Conflict not only happens between employees. According to a study of conflict in the Canadian workforce,[2] about 81 percent of people leave the organization as a result of conflict.

The purpose of this question is to determine how adaptable an employee is to different communication styles, what they consider deal breakers, and how they model desired behavior when conflict arises.

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The responses to this question allows you to manage expectations and an indication for leaders to continuously work on their communication and conflict management skills.

13. “What would make this company an amazing place to work?”

Maybe you can’t provide free lunches or paid hours of free time at work like bigger companies. But answers to this question can reveal a lot about what employees think is crucial to well-being.

In a study of nearly 17,000 employees,[3] it was noted that an increase in stress level is directly correlated to workplace injury. While this interview won’t eradicate organizational constraints or stressors, feedback from candidates and employees on what makes a company a great place to work is the perfect place to start.

14. “What other questions do you have for me?”

Although this is a conversation to determine the best fit for your team, company, or organization, the interview goes both ways. Yes, you are also being scrutinized by your interviewee.

The purpose of this question is to create space to answer the candidate’s questions about your organization. You also get to provide insight on processes, expectations, team culture, and information that isn’t readily available on the company website.

15. “Tell me about yourself”

If everything else seems too much, lead with this timeless question. You simply cannot go wrong here.

Sometimes, the best answers come from open-ended queries. This is your best chance to know the candidate’s history, career accomplishments, and get a feel for their career goals all at the same time.

It is less intrusive and leading with this question makes it easier to approach other questions––depending on how sensitive the position is.

The Bottom Line

Conversation is a two-way street. Good questions can give you great insights into the value an employee can bring to your company. But there is an art and science to asking questions.

While you won’t become an expert right off the bat, these questions provide a good foundation to start from if you want to attract and retain top talent in your organization.

More Resources About Job Interview

Featured photo credit: Drew Beamer via unsplash.com

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