The core values of your property management company are the pillars of its identity. They become the guiding principles through which you conduct business, both internally as well as with your clientele. Each company should have its own set of unique core values that support its vision and guide the decision-making processes within the organization.
The problem is, many business owners place the cart before the horse, launching a company before actually taking the time to define those core values. Thankfully, it’s never too late to get started. If you’ve yet to identify what the core values of your property management company are, here are a few tips for getting back on track.
Get leadership involved.
The best way to get the ball rolling is to have each executive jot down four or five business values that they consider important. Each of these values should begin with a verb and be short and to the point. For instance, one proposed value might be: “exceed client expectations.” Ask each leader to include a brief story or example that illustrates each of the values they’ve listed. The goal is to identify how these values impact customers, employees and the community.
Collect everyone’s answers and discuss. Look specifically for overlapping ideas and then narrow them down to the ones that best represent your property management company.
Tap into the rest of the team.
Once you’ve got the framework in place, engage the rest of your company by soliciting their input and feedback. If your property management company is small enough, you might even ask your employees to do the same exercise as leadership, defining their own values and sharing stories that support and demonstrate those values. Discuss and brainstorm as you search for common themes.
Revise and refine.
The next step is to pinpoint the four or five core values that most closely define the overall culture of your property management company. When you’ve narrowed your focus, you’ll be able to drill down to further define what each value represents and why it’s so important. Again – group discussions are recommended as they not only facilitate creativity, but they also serve to spread and reinforce your principles.
At this stage, you may find that the values are prioritized differently based on which department you are focusing on. For instance, “put customers first” would likely be the highest priority for the client support team while “develop and nurture human capability” would be the focus of HR. It doesn’t matter what order they’re in as long as they’re all defined and accounted for.
Formalize and reinforce.
Now that your leadership and employees have determined which values are important, it’s time to start driving those values home to anyone and everyone. Put them up on the walls of your office. Post them on your property management website. Include them in the company newsletter. Discuss them in your quarterly meetings. Give them constant attention so that they become ingrained in the culture of your organization.
Practice what you preach.
Remember - your core values aren’t just words. They are the principles that determine how you conduct business every minute of every day of every year. Don’t just write them down and speak them from time to time. Live them. Apply them in every facet of your business and encourage others throughout the company to do the same. Set key performance indicators that are in line with your values and recognize and reward those who truly embody the culture you’ve defined.
What about you? Do you have solid core values that you’re particularly proud of? How did you define them? How have you gotten your employees onboard and excited about living those values? We’d love to hear your insight in the comment section below!