Team Building: Crafting Core Values That Align With Your Staff - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Team Building: Crafting Core Values That Align With Your Staff

When you started your lawn or landscape company, chances are you were the only one on staff for a period of time. While you were flying solo, you may have listed out some core values for your company. However, as your company has grown, these core values may not really reflect the different individuals who make up your team now.

There’s nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board to develop new core values. Taking the time to select values that are more in tune with your staff can help with overall cohesion, boost morale and foster a sense of ownership. Having quality core values specific to your business also helps you hire cultural fits.

Identifying Core Values

The first step to crafting core values that align with your team is to assess the existing ones. In some cases, you may be able to keep some of the original values while others are no longer relevant or could be customized to fit your landscape business better.

Reflect on your company’s purpose. Your core values serve as the guiding philosophy of how you serve your employees, customers and the local community.

Consider the current practices and behaviors of your organization. Can they be summarized into a core value? You can also examine customer feedback and testimonials to see what consistently stands out to them as a key element of your business.

Crafting Unique Core Values

Some commonly used core values include integrity, customer focus, and quality, but some owners argue these are table stakes of doing business. Ideally, your core values should go beyond qualities you’d want in any person, like honesty.

Your company’s core values should help guide your employees in their daily decision-making. For instance, if going above and beyond is something that is important to you and your team, this might be a possible core value for your business.

Some of the ways you can find new core values are to have workshops or brainstorming sessions with your staff, conduct surveys and encourage feedback from your team. Once your team has developed a list of possible core values, you can narrow this list down by removing redundant or less significant values.

Once you have trimmed your list down to five to 10 core values, take the time to define what each value looks like in action so everyone is on the same page. Also, examine how these values would play out in real-life scenarios to see if they align with your landscape company’s actual practices.

Bringing Core Values to Life

After coming to a consensus on your new core values, clearly articulate these to your entire team. Your core values should be shared during onboarding and reinforced regularly. Joshua Tree Experts have a speech and script defining their five core values in detail.

Empower your team where they can uphold your values and ensure your decision-making processes reflect your core values.

Part of bringing your core values to life is holding your employees accountable to them. If one of your core values is ‘be kind,’ not tolerating a bully manager can drive home the message that you make values-based decisions at your organization.

As your company grows, continue to seek feedback from your team and periodically review your core values to see if they still fit your organization. For example, if you are embarking on transitioning over to all battery-powered equipment and other sustainability efforts, adding a core value tied to that could be beneficial.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.