The Importance of Embedding Core Values into your Workplace Culture

The power of embedding core values into the company culture has been fundamental to our success. They serve as the foundation upon which our culture is built, and they’re the driving force behind our achievements. Most businesses recognise that a strong employee value proposition (EVP) is fundamental to their ability to recruit and retain their employees. Arguably the most important part of an EVP, is the workplace culture itself. This is the experience that shapes employee beliefs and engagement levels, which in turn drive actions and results. Companies with a strong workplace culture, perform better.

Here are some of the benefits we’ve experienced from embracing our core values:
1. Unity and Alignment: When we embed our core values into our culture, we create a common language and shared purpose that unites every team member. This alignment ensures that every action and decision we make is in sync with our overarching mission.
2. Enhanced Employee Engagement: Employees who resonate with our core values are more engaged and motivated. They find greater meaning in their work and feel a stronger sense of belonging, leading to increased job satisfaction and retention.
3. Improved Decision-Making: Our core values provide a clear framework for decision-making at all levels of the organization. They act as a moral compass, helping us navigate complex situations and make choices that align with our principles.
4. Attracting Top Talent: When our core values are deeply embedded, they become a magnet for like-minded individuals. We not only retain our exceptional team members but also attract top talent who share our values and vision.
5. Enhanced Customer Relationships: Our values extend beyond our internal operations. They guide how we interact with our customers and partners. Trust is built when they see that our actions reflect our values, leading to stronger, long-lasting relationships.
6. Adaptability and Resilience: In times of change and uncertainty, our core values provide stability. They offer a constant reference point, helping us adapt to new challenges and emerge even stronger.
7. Innovation and Creativity: A culture rooted in core values encourages diversity of thought and fosters an environment where team members feel safe to express their ideas. This openness to innovation is a key driver of our success.
8. Brand Reputation: Our core values are not just words; they are reflected in everything we do. This authenticity enhances our brand reputation and distinguishes us in the marketplace.
9. Sustainable Growth: A strong, values-based culture helps us make sustainable decisions that benefit not only our company but also our society and the environment. It’s the cornerstone of responsible growth.
10. Pride and Fulfilment: When we see our core values reflected in our daily work, it fills us with a sense of pride and fulfilment. We’re not just here to work; we’re here to make a positive impact on the people we engage with.

In the post pandemic environment of unprecedented competition for employees it is even more important for company leaders to focus on workplace culture if they want to improve business outcomes. Whilst most businesses have a great set of stated values for the purpose of engaging with new stakeholders that are not familiar with an organisation it is their workplace culture that really defines their values. Embedding core values into your company culture can be far easier said than done and is a challenging journey filled with obstacles and complexities.

1. Misalignment with Existing Culture: One of the primary challenges in integrating core values into a company’s culture is the potential misalignment with existing norms and behaviours. Employees may be accustomed to a certain way of doing things, making it difficult to introduce new values that contradict or challenge the status quo.
Solution: To address this, leaders should ensure that the core values align with the company’s mission and long-term objectives. Communicate the importance of these values and encourage employees to embrace change as a growth opportunity.
2. Lack of Leadership Commitment: For core values to take root in a company culture, leaders must exemplify and consistently reinforce them. When leaders fail to demonstrate commitment to these values, employees may perceive them as mere rhetoric, leading to scepticism and cynicism.
Solution: Leaders should lead by example and incorporate the core values into their decision-making processes. Regularly communicate how these values guide the organisation’s actions and decisions.
3. Resistance to Change: People naturally resist change, and introducing new core values can be met with resistance from employees who are comfortable with the existing culture. Change management becomes crucial in such situations.
Solution: Employ change management strategies to help employees understand why the core values are being introduced and how they benefit both individuals and the organisation. Provide training and support to help employees adapt to the new culture.
4. Lack of Consistency: Inconsistency in applying core values across different departments or levels of the organisation can undermine the culture-building process. When employees observe inconsistencies, they may question the authenticity of the values.
Solution: Create clear guidelines and standards for how core values should be practiced and integrated into daily operations. Ensure that these standards are consistently upheld across all aspects of the organisation.
5. Limited Employee Involvement: Engaging employees in the process of defining and refining core values is crucial for their buy-in and commitment. Failing to involve employees can result in values that feel imposed rather than shared.
Solution: Encourage employees to participate in shaping the company’s core values. Seek their input and feedback to ensure that the values resonate with the entire workforce.
6. Measurement and Accountability: Without clear metrics and accountability mechanisms, it can be challenging to track progress in embedding core values. This lack of measurement can lead to a loss of focus over time.
Solution: Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) related to the core values and regularly assess how well the organisation is adhering to them. Hold individuals and teams accountable for demonstrating these values in their work.

In conclusion, embedding core values into your company’s culture is not a one-time effort but an ongoing journey. It requires commitment, consistency, and adaptability to overcome the challenges that may arise along the way. When core values are deeply ingrained in your culture, they become the guiding principles that drive decision-making, shape behaviour, and define your organisation’s identity. If company leaders are serious about improving outcomes, improving their Culture Strength is the first place to start. It is people’s experiences and beliefs that affect and drive their actions. It is the collective set of these actions that get a get company results and provides a fulfilling work experience. Today’s employees want to know how work can add meaning to their life, make them feel whole and part of something much bigger than themselves.

I’ve worked with Paul over 18 months and he’s worked extremely hard to bring us the right candidates. He understands exactly what we need and what we expect and his knowledge of the market is great. Whenever we have a new role I don’t hesitate to contact Paul.
Adam Ward
CEO & Co-Founder at Airtime Rewards
When making the fund’s first investment in the North West of England, we were recommended to speak with Paul & Sphere Group, to help formulate a strategic plan for the recruitment of a new finance department. The plan was for a highly confidential potential portfolio business that was pre investment. Paul quickly understood our requirements and using his candidate knowledge of the local area, was able to work closely with us to formulate a structure and plan that was fit for purpose. At the point of investment, we had secured a new CFO having received an excellent quality shortlist; and already had a shortlist ready to interview for the FC position. The ability to deliver this project confidentially with such quality is testament to the Sphere operation and we would not hesitate to return.
International Private Equity Investor
(Confidential assignment requiring NDA)
I worked with Paul from a junior stage in my career to formulate a plan to achieve my goal of attaining a CFO position within the shortest time frame possible. Paul was knowledgeable, and advised clearly where gaps existed in my skill set. What was most unexpected was the advice on certain occasions not to move away from my current employer and explanation as to why this would benefit me. Having achieved this goal, I have throughout my subsequent career, received an excellent service in attracting high quality talent in building my own team when using Sphere.
Rather than selling what he could do, Paul spent more time understanding our business and culture to ensure he provided candidates that would fit in here. The hardest part of our process was choosing one from the shortlist to offer.
Managing Director
Privately Owned Manufacturing (Confidential assignment requiring NDA)
Julian was accessible and responsive right from the start. He clearly understands the importance of being a good listener and was prepared to take as much time as required to understand our company culture and ideal candidate profile. In addition, Julian was an effective intermediary between candidate and prospective employer, with excellent communication skills even during the more difficult moments of the Covid-19 pandemic. I would not hesitate to recommend Julian and Sphere Group.
David Seekings
CFO - 4imprint Group plc
I have worked with Julian Aronberg on a number of occasions and he has always provided both me and our business with an excellent service. He has demonstrated a clear ability to quickly grasp our requirements whilst providing us with insightful advice. Julian’s knowledge of his specialist markets is excellent and he has a clear understanding of what good looks like. He has always added a great deal of value when looking to make strategic hires and I would have no hesitation in recommending him.
Nat Rothschild
Executive Chairman - Volex Plc
I retained the services of Julian Aronberg at Sphere Group to identify a new Group Finance Director to replace myself on behalf of the Board. As a fast growing listed tech company, this is a broad hands on role encompassing financial leadership, corporate governance, as well as commercial and strategic partnering. Julian spent time with me and other members of the Board to fully understand our business, future plans and requirements of the role. He advised us on the various profiles of candidates we could consider and what we may need to do to secure our ideal candidate. The main challenge with this assignment was that we needed to identify the right person quickly without compromising on quality and fit with the business. Sphere Group’s proactive search methodology meant Julian was able to identify the right people quickly and due to his thorough understanding of our requirements he delivered a credible shortlist for us. We were able to identify and recruit the successful candidate despite this being at the start of and during the COVID-19 pandemic lock down. Julian provided an excellent level of service, demonstrating a technical understanding of the requirements of the role plus expert knowledge of the candidate pool. Crucially, he was also able to match the cultural and aspirational fit of the candidates with our business. He communicated effectively during the process and delivered the project on time. I would have no reservation in using him again or recommending his services to others.
Andrew Miller
Previous CFO and Current NED - Corero Network Security PLC
"Speaking from a candidate point of view, Julian Aronberg and Sphere Group's involvement, imbued professionalism in the recruitment process from beginning to end. The start of the journey involved a first, general, exploratory meeting when Julian outlined Sphere Group's experience, background and particular specialisms and deep-dived into my skill set, experience and motivations. He also provided guidance in market trends and other useful feedback. Thereafter, taking properly into account my desires and requirements, he subsequently identified a potential opportunity which represented a very good fit and alignment for both me as candidate and for the company. The potential opportunity was discussed in depth to make sure all parameters and metrics were known and expectations were met throughout for both sides. Then throughout an extensive selection and interview process, Julian maintained constant communication and two-way feedback. At all times he was professional, courteous and pro-active. Even once in role, Julian has been in touch several times to ensure all is well for both sides, something in my experience few executive search firms actually do, preferring to move from mandate to mandate, yet essential for building a long-term relationship. In summary, I would have no hesitation whatsoever in highly recommending Julian to others to meet their future recruitment needs."
Neil Pritchard
CFO - Corero Network Security PLC
In hiring a Head of Finance, we were really pleased with the service provision by Sphere/Julian, in particular by the quality of candidates put forward and by the responsive and high quality inputs to the process”
Rob Quinn
Previous CFO of Silence Therapeutics PLC
It was a pleasure to work with Julian Aronberg at Sphere Group when I secured my position as the Deputy CFO for an AIM listed manufacturing business. Julian spent time with me to understand my aspirations and working style, considering how these aligned with the business and culture of his client. He guided me through the process, keeping me well informed at each stage. After securing my new role, Julian helped me fill an open position having identified some excellent candidates. I would have no hesitation in recommending Julian and the Sphere Group.
Jon Boaden
CFO Volex Plc
We retained the services of Julian Aronberg and Sphere Group in the search for a newly created Deputy Group Finance Director position. This was a strategic hire with the agenda of identifying an individual who had the ability to transition to the Group Finance Director position in a number of years. Julian spent time understanding our requirements fully and advised us on the role and candidate specification to ensure we were able to attract the right people. He demonstrated a thorough understanding of the personal attributes and values required to fit in to our company and be successful. As a result, Julian produced a high quality shortlist of candidates, all of whom were strong contenders for the role. From this we selected the successful candidate. Julian took full ownership, providing advice and guidance throughout, and made the whole process extremely easy. We would happily retain his and Sphere Group's services again.
Nish Malde
CFO - Inland Homes plc
" We have used Sphere Group on two occasions recently in our search for a high calibre Group Finance Director and Group Financial Controller and on both occasions Nick Jones has put forward a number of compelling CVs. We would not hesitate using them again in the future. "
David Adams
Executive Chairman – J. Tomlinson
" Nick has provided excellent support on a number of senior finance hires over the last few years. He always takes the time to understand the specifics of the role we are hiring for and provides high quality candidates that have fitted in well with our culture and have gone on to be promoted internally subsequent to joining. The communication from Nick between ourselves and the candidate is always clear and succinct. "
Luke Grant
Group Financial Controller - IMI PLC
" I have recently worked with Nick Jones from Sphere Group for the appointment of our Finance Director. I found Nick and Sphere to be very professional in their approach, spending time to thoroughly understand the role and the future needs of our business. A short list of excellent candidates was provided in the timescales agreed. After appointing from the short list, Nick has maintained his support post offer, providing us with excellent customer service. "
Clare Lundberg
HR Director – Mayflex
" Nick and his team at Sphere have always been extremely effective at securing me good quality candidates. They always understand and deliver on the brief and are really easy to work with. "
Ben Guest
Finance Director – IMI Precision
" Nick is the first port of call for all of my accountancy recruitment. Nick is personable and has a great understanding of not only the recruitment industry but also of nuances of the finance and accounting sector. "
Neil Floyd
Finance Director – ABM Catering
" We enlisted the help of Sphere Group to support us with the recruitment of a Finance Director position. This was a pivotal succession planning role for the business since the successful candidate would shortly be taking over from the current incumbent who has been with the business for over 30 years. Nick took the time to properly understand our requirements and sent a high-quality shortlist of relevant candidates who stacked up on experience and personality, one of which we appointed. The candidate is performing very well and we would have no hesitation in using Sphere Group again next time we are recruiting. "
Justin Owens
Head of HR - Robinson Brothers
" Nick has provided a good service for me in recruiting into the Group Assurance team. He does not waste my time with non-suitable candidates and is reliable and good to work with "
Paul Roughedsge
Director OF Assurance – IMI PLC
I have known Geoff Blackwell-Frier for a number of years now and he has always kept in touch and shown an interest in my career. With the Finance Director’s position at Baa Bar plc, Geoff fully briefed me on the role, the company and the process itself and I valued his honest and direct approach. After I had been appointed, I discussed the recruitment process with the Chief Executive and she appreciated the time and effort Geoff invested to understand the business culture and identify the right skill set & personality for the role. A few months later, Baa Bar utilised Sphere Group’s expertise again to recruit a qualified Financial Controller from practice.
Sue Hill
Previously Finance Director at Baa Bar
Geoff Blackwell-Frier did much more than just find me the right home. He agreed with me a strategic plan based on his detailed knowledge and experience of both local and wider opportunities, and then he held me to it. He then helped me to decide between 3 competing offers with clear objective advice. I have recommended others to use his services both as recruiters and candidates.
Nick Scull
Previously Head of Tax at Garbutt & Elliott