What Is a Core Value List?

A core value list is a set of principles that guide companies on how they execute particular actions within their operations. Businesses and establishments use a core value statement to provide the list of core values that they believe in. With this, a core value list is expected to be aligned with how a corporate entity defines its behavior, interactions, and business core. To make sure that employees are well-aware of a company’s core value list, this information is commonly included in the content of an employee handbook.

Purpose of a Core Value List

85% of employees will most likely stay with their employers for a longer period of time if the organization where they are currently at showcases high levels of social responsibility (source: ultimate software). From this statement, you can already see how the alignment of the core values of professionals with that of their employers matters a lot. This is one of the reasons why it is important for your organization to have its own core value list.  Listed below are some of the objectives that can be realized if you will create a core value list for your business.

1. To Help Promote Retention in the Workplace

Not all employees are just looking on the amount of money that your organization will provide them with. There are a lot of professionals and workers who give value to work-life balance and other aspects of employment outside salary-related matters. In reality, 80% of employees believe that they feel a higher level of engagement whenever their work is actually consistent with the organization’s mission statement and core values (source: ibm). If you can have a core value list, you can instill particular values to the members of your organization which they will carry within the entirety of their employment. This is a good way to boost their morale, productivity, efficiency, and love for what they are doing. By this, you can already see that a core value list can be an effective tool for employment retention.

2. To Establish a TouchPoint Between the Business and Its Stakeholders

There are external and internal advantages that a core value list can provide to your business or establishment. One of which is its ability to set a touch point where you can meet your stakeholders. if you have a core value list, you can educate your target market on how you act based on what you believe in. With this, they can see you more than the quality of your products and services. Your clients or customers can further understand and relate to you since they are already aware of how you function based on your identity. This can result to the elimination of impressions, expectations, and perceptions that aren’t really aligned with who you are and how you think of and implement your business action plan.

3. To Allow A Company See Its Priorities

Your core value list can help you clearly see the items that you value during the processes of decision making. There are instances where the absence of core values can weaken your decision as you are not aware on how your potential actions can impact the beliefs of your organization. As an example, if you believe that you want to give exemplary quality service to your clients or customers; it will be easier for you to decide to conduct customer service training and programs if you observed that your customer service team is already falling behind your standards. Knowing your priorities as you reflect with your core value list is an important business activity report that you should practice so you can align your actions with your culture and ideas.

Things to Look Into When Putting a Core Value List Together

Do not settle with a core value list that is not well-developed or way below your standards. It is essential for you to always remember that a core value list will always be interlinked and associated with your business. With this, you have to ensure that your own core value list is of high-quality and is truly incorporated in the brand that you have built for your organization. If you want to have a refined core value list, there are several factors that you have to consider. The most essential items that you have to prioritize and look into when putting your organization’s core value list together are as follows:

The insights of your target audience, internal environment, and other external stakeholders: Your core value is not something that you invent or come up with right away. It is something that is already there. Hence, you need to make sure that you will communicate with the people who are contributing to the successes of your organization so you can have an idea about their insights on your organization’s core values. Doing this can enable you to come up with a realistic and well-rounded core value list.The existing culture of the organization driven by your operational activities, interactions, and relationships: Aside from the comments and observations of your stakeholders, it is also necessary for you to survey the current conditions of your business. Learn how to keenly look into your relationships and the culture that you have built in the workplace report for a long period of time. How do you communicate with your clients? How do you come up with a decision for the betterment of your operations? How do you resolve issues and concerns? You need to be able to answer these questions so you can be directed to the ethics and values of your organization.The vision and mission statements of your organization: It is important for you to have an idea of where you would like to bring your organization towards. Do not be blinded by idealistic approaches. Rather, know the things that you are currently doing which can add up to the materialization of your vision statement. Consider these items when writing your core value list. Since you already have a clear idea of what you would like to do and where you would like to be at, your core value list can answer the “how’s” like how you will be able to make decisions resulting to the achievement of your goals and objectives and how you can ensure that your stakeholders are interacting with one another in a manner that is uplifting the morale of each of them.

6 Steps for Developing a Relevant Core Value List

Core values serve as your guiding principles. When thinking of your core value list, you need to find the beliefs and culture that are essentially valuable to you and your stakeholders. If you already want to make a core value list on your own, be guided by a step-by-step procedure just like the one that we will discuss below. Here are six simple steps that can let you develop a relevant core value list with ease:

Step 1: Download a Core Value List Template

If you have no idea on how to begin the development plan of your core value list, we highly-suggest for you to get a core value list template. This tool can help you easily know the possible ways on how you can format the content of your core value list effectively.

Step 2: Brainstorm With the Selected Members of Your Organization

Pre-determine the people whom you would like to talk about the identification of your core value list. Make sure that the members of the team that you will select are those who are engaged with their work as well as with the mission of the organization.

Step 3: Have an Initial Draft or List of Your Organization’s Core Values

Letting effective people give their insights can help you know how high-performers are driven with the set of core values of the business as well as other factors that impact their productivity and efficiency. With this, you have to let your selected members or stakeholders list the core values of your business based on their own understanding and perspective.

Step 4: Assess the Core Value List That You and Your Stakeholders Came Up With

After the having the initial list of core values, see the trend with the answers of your stakeholders. What are the common denominator that you have found and observed? Are these core values really within the identity and operations of your organization? The assessment of these core values and their weight can help you know which ones to include in your final core value list.

Step 5: Finalize the List of Core Values Which You Think Are Aligned With Your Mission Statement and Company Culture

Write down your final core value list in the template that you have selected. Make sure that you will use proper language and tone during your presentation so you can give an idea about your core values in an appropriate and formal manner. Aside from this, ensure that your core value list is aligned with the mission and culture of your company.

Step 6: Refine the Entirety of the Core Value List

Look into the core value list that you have made and find ways on how you can better it. Polish the details and features of the core value list without losing its essence before you present it to your target audience.

Advantages of Creating a Believable Core Value List

The more your values are aligned with what your employees believe in and gives value to, the easier it will be to maintain their levels of work satisfaction and engagement. This is only one of the benefits that you can get if you will have a core value list that reflects the things that your business believes in. Aside from this, there are still a lot of ways on how having a core value list can be advantageous to your organization and its stakeholders. Some of the advantages of creating a believable core value list include the following:

A core value list can help the business realize its mission and strengthen its vision: Your core value list is what shapes the workplace culture of your organization. Since a core value list reflects your values as a corporate entity, it can enable you to direct the path in which your stakeholders should walk on. If your workforce and the other entities involved in your operations can see the things that you give importance to, they can easily value and execute plans of action that are aligned with your mission and how you see yourself in the future. A core value list can build the identity and essence of your organization: Not all companies have the same core values. Your core value list is what can set you apart from other businesses offering the same products and/or services. With the availability of a core value list, you can strengthen your business identity in a way that is appealing to your target audience. If you can present the principles and beliefs that you inculcate in your daily operations, it will be easier for you to get the attention and interest of stakeholders who value and believe the same philosophies.A core value list can enable you to get the attention of qualified candidates who can potentially be the new members of your organization: Since your core value is a representation of your organization’s culture as well as the things that you value, this can enable you to better the results of your recruitment processes. For one, candidates can become more enticed to apply to your organization once they know that you value a good working environment and healthy relationships. Letting applicants know the things that are of value to your business can help them align these values to their own personal beliefs which is a great way to start a potential employer-to-employee relationship.

Dos and Don’ts for Making an Effective Core Value List

More help and guidance during the development of a core value list won’t hurt. Do you want to know how you can create a core value list that enable you to mold the image of your business in a realistic and measurable manner? A few guidelines that can help you make a core value list effectively are as follows:


1. Do Know How to Incorporate or Express Your Core Value List In Your Business’ Mission Statement 

You have to consider the mission and vision statement of your business as you try to make a core value list. It is imperative for you to know what you would like to do so you can come up with guiding principles on how to do it. With this, we recommend you to review your mission statement so you can make sure that your core value list content is aligned with it. This activity can also be a great way for you to evaluate your functions as an organization and know if your values are still intact even with the presence and influence of internal and external variables.

2. Do Make Your Core Value List Brief, Understandable, and Informative

Unlike a statement formal letter which is usually a page long, your core value list should be short and precise. There is no need for you to list a lot of core values especially if only a few of these are actually related to the culture within your work environment. You have to create an informative core value list but it is also essential to keep it brief. Having a set of core values that your stakeholders can see in your daily operations can help them further understand why you have included particular items in the core value list. This is very important especially if you want to maintain the credibility and trustworthiness of your business image.

3. Do Select a Language That Your Stakeholders Can Relate To When Making Your Core Value List 

Make your core value list simple. It is better for you to have an underrated core value list that one that intimidates your target audience. You have to use a language that your stakeholders can understand so that they can become more familiar with your beliefs and all the other items that are related with your core values. Make sure to not overwhelm your employees and other entities with your language selection so you can veer away from building barriers that can hinder your audience from remembering and/or appreciating your list of core values.


1. Don’t Base Your Core Value List on What Works For Your Competition

Your core value list should be fixed. This means that unlike strategies and tactics, the core values of your business should not change even with the presence of threats, problems, and circumstances. Your core value list should be truly your own. It is something that should be based on who you are and not how you would like to be perceived similarly to the image of another entity. Never use the same core value list made by your competitors. Aside from showcasing lack of originality, it presents how poor your organization is when it comes to molding its identity.

2. Don’t Make Your Core Value List Generic, Irrelevant, and Misleading 

There is nothing wrong with getting inspiration or motivation to create a core value list from other businesses or references. However, you should always be cautious when doing this as the last thing that you would like to happen is for you to come up with a generic core value list that your stakeholders cannot relate to. It is also important for your core value list to not be misleading which is why you have to be precise when writing down its details. Make your core value list really relevant by ensuring that it is incorporated in the image and actual processes of your business.

3. Don’t Use a Core Value List That Does Not Align With or Relate to Your Workplace Culture

Do not fool your target audience with a core value list that they cannot observe within your organization. You should be honest when listing down all of your core values as it can easily be detected if you just placed certain details only to impress your stakeholders. It is essential for your core value list to be as transparent as possible so you can make sure that it reflects what you truly believe in. Always look into your workplace culture as it is where you can see the beliefs and values that build your identity as an organizational Strategic Plan.

If you are thinking of developing a core value list for your organization, be guided by the discussion and references above. We hope that you can take the time to browse through the samples, templates, document guides, and other items that we have put together in this post. By being well-aware of the things that you have to consider and the steps that you must take, it will be more efficient for you to craft the best core value list for your business.