Activating Your Core Values: Part One

March 9, 2023

employees together around a computer representing culture and core values

Part of building a strong culture is having solid core values. Your core values can build cohesiveness and teamwork while setting the tone for how you treat people. But, only if they’re adopted by employees.

This brings us to a very common question: how do we get our employees to embrace our values?

In my experience, before we can talk about our employees, we need to talk about leadership.

When it comes to purpose, mission, vision or values, it starts at the top. As the CEO or founder, it’s your job to embrace them first. Below is a quick 5-step roadmap for embracing your core values and jump-starting employee engagement.

5 Ways to Start Activating Your Core Values

1. Invest ample time in writing your core values. The goal here is to ensure you’re starting with a solid foundation. Once you have your values, start looking for examples of how they show up.

2. Garner buy in from your leadership team. Without support and buy-in from your leadership team, your values will gain little traction over time. It’s important to be in sync.

3. Build your business case. Your team won’t find value in your values if you don’t help them see it. Explain the business benefits of clear core values.

4. Create a plan for sharing your values with your team. Start with a kick-off meeting or launch party. Then, find creative ways to meld them into your day-to-day.

5. Hold yourself accountable. Modeling your core values is important. However, accountability also means admitting to mistakes or actions that don’t align with your values.

Core values, much like mission, vision and purpose, originate at the top. As a leader, you set the tone. Your leadership, behavior and beliefs will impact how your values are adopted and how they show up among your team. 

Are you trying to gain clarity around your core values? Assembling Your Culture Guidebook is a new program, where we work one-on-one to build your company’s culture guide, a highly useful new tool for building a culture your employees will love. Click here to learn more about the program and hear from past clients.




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Karen Bailey is a brand purpose consultant and specializes in helping companies define their purpose and align their business around it. In 2017, she launched the blog, Purpose Greater Than Profit, to start a meaningful conversation about the increasingly important role of brand purpose, purposeful leadership and a better way of doing business.


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