How Your Core Values Impact Your Employee Retention

Per Access Perks, 67% of decision-makers say they’re more concerned about turnover at their organizations now than they were 12 months ago.

Employee retention is top-of-mind with many companies, and that’s not surprising, considering how costly replacing employees and onboarding new hires can be. In a world where the average person changes careers five to seven times during their working life, how do you retain more of your valued talent?

Identifying Your Core Values

According to Buffer, 80% of Fortune 100 companies tout their values publicly. Furthermore, organizations with a high sense of purpose outperform others by 400%!

Choosing to run your company on a value-based system can be difficult, and may even be painful at times. But it gives your employees and customers something to get behind. If you define the principles you believe in and stand by them, your target market will begin rallying behind you.

Common core values in corporate culture include terms like: Integrity, innovation, honesty, passion, communication, impact, and so on.

But finding words you resonate with is the easy part. You need to take it a step further to define what they mean to you and how you’re going to live them out in everyday business life.

Per The Cult Branding Company, IKEA’s core values are as follows:

  1. Humbleness and willpower.
  2. Leadership by example.
  3. Daring to be different.
  4. Togetherness and enthusiasm.
  5. Cost-consciousness.
  6. Constant desire for renewal.
  7. Accept and delegate responsibility.

Study other examples for additional insights.

Hiring People That Share Your Core Values

We all make hiring mistakes from time to time. But once your core values are defined, you’ll find it easier to attract and find the right people. This, in turn, will create a stronger company culture.

Will Staney tells us:

“Hiring employees who understand and exemplify company values serves to reinforce the organization’s mission and vision and create a tighter team.”

But how do you identify people that are right for your company? Here are several steps you can take:

  • Translate values into action or behavioral based terms. Defining how your team members should behave in certain situations enables you to assess interviewees with specific questions that reveal their core values.
  • Make your values public. Create a page on your website that describes your values and reference them in job ads.
  • Create an onboarding process that includes cultural induction. Many companies do not have a well-defined onboarding and training process for new hires. Go against the grain. Make cultural orientation part of your onboarding.

Making Decisions Based On Your Core Values

Now that you’ve defined and expressed what your core values are, you must live congruently with them. This may mean making difficult and uncomfortable decisions at times. You may need to restructure your team or reevaluate vendor partnerships that compromise your values. You may need to turn down opportunities that aren’t a right fit for your organization.

But in the long term, this will mean retaining key people within your organization for longer. It will mean creating an ironclad brand that your target market resonates with and supports.


Defining and living by your core values is a step in the right direction. But it may not be enough to engage and retain your best workers. Study additional employee retention strategies and put them to use. Every step you take to reduce employee turnover can make a difference.

But remember – living by your values means living by higher standards. It’s one thing to say what you believe in, but quite another to let it guide your actions. If the support you receive from people who resonate with your message is greater, so will be the criticism you recieve if you make a mistake.

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