Photo by Pearl

There’s a code at the Open Society Foundation that reimburses employees for bringing a housewarming gift if they choose to stay at a friend’s house during their work travels.

A simple alpha numeric code allows the company to make an act of gratitude possible for saving money for lodging. OSF doesn’t have to do this, most companies don’t. But an alpha numeric code serves as a reflection of their code of values. Values passed on to employees to continue or defend if they move to another company or start one of their own.

In order to bring your values to life and make them actionable, you must first define the code you want your company to live by.

Start with your identity as a company:
  • Are you a healthcare company that doesn’t offer maternity leave?
  • Are you a clothing company that doesn’t offer discounts to your employees for your own products?
  • Are you in education but don’t provide education opportunities for your staff?
  • Are you a staffing firm without professional development for your own employees?

These examples are based on real-life companies that I have encountered or worked with. When you step back from the situation, the blind spots seem remarkable, but when you’re deep into running a business, it’s easy to overlook your most important value-based codes.

Take a moment to check in with what your organization represents and what you’d like it to represent. Discuss openly with your colleagues what you’d like to prioritize. This is not one person’s decision, but rather a collective agreement on what you hope to espouse in the world. Codifying those values into your business makes it reality.

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Editorial Collaborator, Akshay Kapur, joins Conscious to provide tips and advice that speak to entrepreneurs everywhere who face struggles dealing with time, money, balance, health, relationships, and more. Read his interview here. Discover his series here.