The Centra Homes Blog

Core Values: A Company’s Lighthouse

July 6th, 2023

by Dale Wills, Founder of Centra Companies

Good marketing, planned strategy, innovative ideas and evolving with the times are all essential building blocks of successful companies. However, the real cornerstone of great businesses is their employees.

As leaders, we invest in our companies so they’ll grow and succeed. The same concept applies to employees. In order for them to evolve and thrive just like our companies, we need to have a set of guiding principles – or core values – that inspire them and deliver on the business’ promise.

At Centra Companies, our core values act as our lighthouse. They guide us and exemplify who we are every day. They are:

  1. Accountable: We honor our commitments and are responsible for our actions and decisions. We pay attention to the details, seeking to provide accuracy and quality in all we do.
  2. Compassion: We withhold judgment and appreciate the perspective or situations of others. We care for those around us and are motivated to relieve the suffering of others.
  3. Do Right: We say hard things when needed and make decisions based on the greater good. We exude great character and integrity in all that we do. We do what we commit to and are on time.
  4. Growth: We invest in our work and ourselves and are not afraid to ask for help. We’re more uncomfortable with the status quo than the prospect of change and strive to explore our skillset.
  5. Humility: We value openness and learning from anyone at any time. We seek and give honest feedback, learning from our mistakes and successes. We never underestimate our competition.

Defining and aligning your team with your company’s values can have a profound impact on your culture and success. Here’s why.

The Importance of Core Values

Core values are becoming increasingly important among younger generations as 87% of Gen Z workers say they’re prepared to quit their jobs if they don’t align with the company’s values. Meanwhile, the majority of employees also say good workplace culture is more important than salary. When we interview candidates at Centra Companies we take this into account. We listen for certain language that exemplifies our core values. We want candidates who will feel comfortable and are already living by them. Many will also ask us why they should work at Centra Companies, and we often highlight our core values for consideration and reiterate how they create a great work environment.

Core values should be instilled within your workers and guide the company when it comes to behavior, decisions and how to respond to challenges and successes. This is why company culture should be a priority when you’re looking to retain and attract employees. Your company’s core values will not only help you lure and keep employees but also influence their performance, which will lead to your business’s ultimate success or failure.

Strengthening Your Core Values

Whether you’re in the process of defining or refining your core values, don’t make them aspirational. Aspirations are a wish. You want your employees to already possess good values and use them as a reminder and a guide. Ask yourself, “What characteristics do my best employees possess? Are they empathetic? Thoughtful? Do they hold themselves to a high standard?” These are good starting points for developing values that reinforce and manage positive behaviors.

Your values should also be non-negotiable. They’re fundamentals that won’t be compromised due to changes to your staff or your market. Non-negotiable values help employees find meaning in their work. In fact, surveys show employees are 135% more engaged if their companies hire people who fit their values. At the same time, new employees who don’t fit in with the company culture and values are more likely to feel disengaged and leave within three months. If you have an employee who doesn’t fit the mold of your company’s core values, another company might be better suited for them. Lastly, it’s important to refresh your core values as needed. Companies evolve, so don’t be afraid to update one or more of your core values when the time is right.

At Centra Companies, we’ve had the same core values for six years. However, we tweaked one slightly for clarity. When I first founded my business, all of us were working long hours, and one of my employees had asked if he could take a Friday off to spend time with his son. I told him, “Of course!” and then realized that all of our employees needed to know that we believe the right thing to do is to spend time with their families and they’re allowed to take time off to do so without them having to ask. That’s when “Do Right” was added to our core values. Our leaders get together annually to discuss and reevaluate our values and will change them if and when need be.

Core values are an extremely important aspect of every company. They showcase who your employees are and who your company is. Building a strong company culture through defined core values can help your employees feel more engaged and productive, as well as give your business a competitive advantage – and at Centra Companies, we’re proof it works!