Last week I had a conversation with a CEO who thought it was too early to establish core values because his company was only 15 people. His thinking was that things would just change anyway and he would have to do them all over again as the company grows.

But here was the ginormous problem: Two of his people recently quit, the last 4 offers he made were turned down and the candidate pipeline was drying up.

… And he thought it was about the money.

Today, more than ever, people desire to be in alignment with the values of the organization. If they aren’t in alignment, they leave.

Here’s the truth: your company has values whether you like it or not. Solidifying your values and making them a decision-making tool can never happen too early and will only fuel company growth.

Guest Bio: 

Marc Reifenrath is the CEO & Co-founder of Spinutech, a full-service digital marketing agency with 165+ team members across the U.S. 

Marc has helped Spinutech grow from a college start-up to one of the premier full-service digital marketing agencies in the country. The secret ingredient? Company values that are truly lived, including a commitment to “Get Better Every Day”. 

In that capacity, Marc understands firsthand how critical a company’s culture is to achieving and maintaining success.

Today We Discuss:

  • When to implement your company values
  • How to weave them into the fabric of your company

Challenge today?

  • Had unwritten core values but were not formalized
  • Had a  miss on 2 or 10 or 20.
  • Talent outweighs the cultural fit
  • Drawn in by talent and weeded out by the environment 
  • 2 people hired that within 90 days were gone. Instant misalignment 
  • -realized culture pushed them out 

Why is this important to the company?

  • From a hiring perspective, it is a really quick filter
  • Not too aspirational. You have to own what you really are
  • We take too long to make the decision

Rick’s Nuggets:

  • Formalization attracts the right people and repels those who do not
  • Notion that you want to attract everyone is WRONG
  • Time!
    • Interviewing kills the production of your team
    • Assumptions, bias & personal motives… oh my!

How do we solve the problem? 

  • Leadership team development

    • People who understand the organization
    • Doesn't need to be perfect 
    • Needs to be honest
    • *** needs to be authentic, not aspirational
    • Values need to be actionable
      • We get better every day: better myself, team & clients
  • Work into a daily routine
    • Core values onboarding
    • Slack channel language is communicated
    • Natural part of how they do business
    • Lived every single day
  • Leaders need to show core values in Action!
    • Weekly video “get better every day”
    • In every part of the business
  • Without core values, a lot more problems. 
    • Stronger the core values the more you are prepared for growth
    • Every person who onboards becomes less of an attack
    • Inject DNA into people as quickly as possible
    • Feedback on how to enhance the value

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Be realistic about who YOU are

    • Aspirational values are worthless
    • North star for how everyone operates within the organization
  • Build interview questions around core values
  • Evaluate against values
    • Aligned = hire 
  • Build an interview question library
    • Assign interview questions to each interviewer

Key Takeaways that the Audience can plug into their business today! (Value):

  • Honest about what your core values are, Lived not aspirational
  • Actionable values - 
  • Stay patient in the hiring process. Don't just put a butt in a seat.

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