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Developing Your Company Values: Tips & Examples

Photo of Andy Cakebread Andy Cakebread 26 June 2023
Female employee in a modern workplace

Ready to dive into the beating heart of your company? To unlock the hidden essence that takes businesses from good to great? In this guide, we're talking about company values—the secret formula that makes or breaks an organisation.

Developing robust company values isn't a task to be taken lightly. It's a strategic move that requires an understanding of your organisation's culture and aspirations. It’s a step in the right direction towards a healthy business and happy employees.

Bearing this in mind, here at Thankbox, we've packed in 20 tips for developing meaningful company values, alongside practical examples from companies that have done it well. Let’s get started!

What are company values?

Picture your company values as the unique fingerprint of your business, the secret code that sets you apart from competitors. They're not here-today, gone-tomorrow trends but ideals that embody what a company stands for, what it believes in, and how it conducts itself. 

Company values drive your business, influencing new employees, customer relationships, and how employees treat each other. They represent the essence of your company culture, setting the tone for everything from daily operations to long-term strategies.

Examples of company values include: 

  • Integrity

  • Transparency

  • Honesty

  • Trust

  • Accountability

  • Compassion

  • Fun

  • Empowerment

  • Partnership

  • Continuous learning

  • Environmentalism

  • Leadership

  • Diversity

  • Innovation

  • Quality

  • Teamwork

  • Simplicity

  • Recognition

Why are company values important?

With more than 50% of CEOs believing corporate culture influences productivity, profitability, and growth, your company values must be embraced and practised at every level, not just at the top of the ladder. 

Team review in startup office with macbook and artwork. Team working together in progressive workplace

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the roles company values play:

  • Attracting and retaining top talent: These values shape how your company is perceived, attracting and retaining employees and customers who resonate with your values. Think of it like your own personal calling card.

  • Guiding behaviour and decision-making: Company values function as a compass, guiding behaviour and decision-making. They provide a benchmark for assessing the best course of action when faced with problems and opportunities.

  • Employee satisfaction and productivity: By guiding employee behaviour, company values contribute to a work environment that mirrors your company's ideals, leading to increased satisfaction, productivity, and peer recognition as everyone works towards a common goal.

Remember, company values aren't just a list of nice words – they're the backbone of your organisation.

20 Tips for developing company values

Crafting company values requires a deep understanding of your business and what it stands for. 

Here are 20 tips to help you develop first-rate company values:

  1. Make your values authentic to your company.

  2. Keep values clear and understandable.

  3. Limit the number of values. Too many values can diminish their meaning and make them harder to remember and implement.

  4. Mirror your company culture in your values.

  5. Consider your customer's perspective. The values you uphold internally impact your interactions with customers, so align them with what they value most.

  6. Prioritise values that promote growth.

  7. Values should inspire employees.

  8. Use actionable language. Steer clear of abstract concepts. Make sure each of your values can be clearly acted upon – there’s no room for error.

  9. Make your values unique.

  10. Involve your team in the process.

  11. Keep values consistent across all levels.

  12. Align your values with your business model. Your values should support and guide the way you do business, from long-term plans to daily activities.

  13. Use your values in the hiring process.

  14. Create opportunities to use your values in daily operations. This can be as simple as referring to your values in team meetings or embedding them in your job descriptions and requirements. 

  15. Frequently communicate and reinforce your values.

  16. Review and update values as necessary. Your company will evolve over time, so it makes sense that your values evolve with it.

  17. Make your values visible. Display them prominently in your physical and digital spaces, such as your office, website, and internal communications.

  18. Reward and recognise employees who embody your values.

  19. Incorporate values into performance reviews. This shows your employees that values are not just words on a page but go hand in hand with their performance.

  20. Link your values to your mission statement.

Examples of companies with strong values

Let's explore five shining examples of companies that have successfully crafted strong company values. 

Each showcases different aspects of the tips we've just shared:

1. Thankbox

At the heart of Thankbox is the belief that recognition and appreciation are integral ingredients in creating a positive work environment and customer experience. Our core values include sustainability, fun, and recognition – and we stand behind all three.

Thankbox Sustainability Pledge

As a carbon-negative alternative to the traditional paper card, we plant a tree for every ten sales we make – currently, we’ve planted enough trees to fill over 180 tennis courts! You could say we’re the Roger Federer of digital greeting cards!

Additionally, we believe in appreciating family, friends, and co-workers. With our stylish and personalised e-cards and gift cards tailored for celebrating birthdays, work anniversaries, and more, Thankbox is the perfect way to give a virtual high-five. 


2. Patagonia

This outdoor clothing company is well-known for its environmental activism, which aligns directly with its values. They believe in building the best product, causing no unnecessary harm, and using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. 

Patagonia 50th year statement

Patagonia's actions consistently reflect these values, such as donating some of their profits to environmental causes. With this initiative, the company broadcasts its unwavering commitment to the future.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb has crafted a set of core values that guide its vision of belonging. Their values include “Champion the Mission”, “Be a Host”, and “Embrace the Adventure” – directly informing their business strategy and operations. 

Cover page of Anirbnb Wow trips

Airbnb’s values foster a community of hosts and travellers that exceeds the traditional boundaries of hospitality, turning strangers into friends while breaking down cultural barriers.

4. Lush

Lush is a beauty company that's renowned for its ethical approach to business, which mirrors its core values. Known for handmade and cruelty-free products, Lush prioritises fresh and organic ingredients and ethical buying. 

Lush Rewild and Values web page

Lush also values their people, creating a diverse environment that encourages individuality and creativity. One of their most significant values is the “Fight Against Animal Testing.” 

5. John Lewis

John Lewis demonstrates how the power of shared ownership and responsibility can become a cornerstone of company values. Known for its unique structure as an employee-owned business, its core principle is partnership. 

John Lewis partnership values

Every employee is a partner who owns a piece of the business, reinforcing the value of shared success. Other values include providing exceptional customer service and prioritising the well-being of their partners

Craft your very own company values

Company values are more than just words on a page. They're the heartbeat of your organisation, shaping its identity and influencing every decision and interaction. Remember to live your values daily, integrating them into all aspects of your business. 

With our focus on recognising efforts, Thankbox helps you celebrate those moments when team members truly embody your values. 

Thankbox homepage image showing messages, GIFs and images

Create a Thankbox and brighten someone's day!

Images: Cover | Team Review at Desk