Corporate values for the win: Employer branding for fitness providers Why corporate values help in the search for employees and how to formulate and implement them
Corporate values are considered the foundation of corporate culture. They provide clear guidelines and serve as a decision aid for internal processes and the development of new ideas. At the same time, they enhance the way the company is perceived by the outside world and show all stakeholders – be they potential new employees, business partners or customers – what the company stands for. Beyond that, well-formulated and communicated corporate values are a clear asset when it comes to finding employees in a time of skilled worker shortages. Let’s take a closer look.
What, actually, are corporate values?
As the name suggests, corporate values indicate which ideals, which visions the company endorses and considers valuable. A mission statement is the basis for corporate management and serves as a guideline and decision aid for employees. Corporate values are often equated with brand values. In some cases, this isn’t entirely correct. Brand values stand primarily for the product or service, i.e. the company’s offerings, and how it differentiates itself from the competition. Corporate values, by contrast, define the people and culture behind the offerings. If a company chooses to define brand and corporate values differently, they should always mutually support and never contradict each other.
Why do fitness providers need corporate values?
No matter the industry, corporate values help to express in a detailed and transparent manner what the company represents – including to applicants and potential new employees. At the same time, they control what applicants and employees expect of the company, making it clear from the start where everyone stands. In an interview with FIBO, Deniz Aytekin, founder of fitnessjobs.de, explains how corporate values contribute to employer branding: “The shortage of personnel and skilled workers runs through all industries, including our own. It’s not easy to find qualified and trained staff. The more that employees can identify with their company, the more loyally they’ll act.” To achieve that, Aytekin recommends to clearly define the company’s values and to communicate the corporate values to potential applicants on the website and in job announcements. One way to do that is a company portrait in video form.
The process: Drafting the statement together
Especially in an industry in which many providers advertise with the same powerful statements – “fitter, leaner, more athletic, healthier” – it’s important to find good wording. And although brand values like the just-described marketing messages are a good starting point for corporate values, the ideals and visions of the company itself must be kept in mind throughout the drafting stage. In order to be able to formulate values successfully, employees should definitely get a say in the decision-making process. In addition to the executives, the company needs role models who will align, change (if necessary) and evolve their own actions based on values. To start, it’s a good idea to host workshops where selected employees are asked what they think is good and where they see potential for improvement. The results can then be analysed and become the basis for the leaders who are ultimately in charge of putting the company values into words. Before the final decision regarding values can be made, the risks and expenditures behind each individual point should be discussed, as well. In this context, companies must also ask themselves whether existing strategies fit the formulated values or whether the strategy might need to be changed.
Implementing corporate values and bringing them to life
It’s advisable to involve the entire workforce when introducing the newly defined or revised corporate values. It’s not enough to present the company’s values. Employees must understand and internalise them. It’s the only way corporate values can be brought to life at some point. A joint workshop or teambuilding day would be ideal in this context. That’s how the new mission statement can be presented in a playful way. But the job doesn’t end there. It’s important to keep reminding employees of the corporate values. Opportunities to do so in everyday work life include employee reviews, the performance process, workshops and training events promoting the corporate values.