Editor’s Note: This post by Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, appeared on Clean Slate in 2008, and we are pleased to report that not much has changed since we initially revealed P.A.I.G.E. It’s a mission we work toward every day – indeed, a way of life that bears repeating:
Every organization has values, either stated or unstated. The core business values you establish are crucial in setting the tone as to how your business will operate and prosper. They establish your company’s personality, they speak to what is important to your organization. Core values do not change from time to time to suit various situations, they define your company’s culture, they allow you to hold your team accountable.
Visit the website of companies you admire for their service, and you will usually see their core values stated on the site. Whole Foods states that they sell the highest quality natural and organic products available. They also satisfy and delight their customers, and care about the environment. It seems to me they live up to their values, but I must admit, I am a Whole Foods fan.
Ritz-Carlton has 12 service values that include building strong relationships with guests and taking ownership and resolving guest’s problems. They also have an employee promise, and a motto “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” Without question, a Ritz-Carlton hotel experience is like no other.
One of the best customer experiences I have ever had was in an Apple store. All I can say is that the overall experience is second to none. An interesting note is that when visiting an Apple store, their core values are not printed and hanging on the walls, but the experience speaks for itself. Online, Apple goes into depth in regard to their commitments to supplier responsibility and the environment.
We established our values as a brand prior to our launch, and I will share them now. Developing them was an interesting and rewarding exercise that was worth the effort. Here they are:
Put together, we reference our set of values as “P.A.I.G.E.”
As a team, we have a “Passion” and enthusiasm for what we do. We act courageously, we create excitement and energy, we respect and protect the environment.
“Authenticity” is important to us. We honor our commitments, we treat customers and each other fairly, we speak the truth. We communicate clearly and listen.
With “Innovation” as one our core values, we keep the future in mind. We are risk takers, we challenge the status quo. We insist on creativity.
“Growth” is crucial to our success. We hold each other and ourselves accountable for business results, we create new opportunities, actively seek self-improvement, and exceed our performance goals.
In choosing “Excellence” we acknowledge that we will distinguish ourselves by exceeding expectations. We respond immediately and appropriately. We attract the best talent, we deliver meaningful results to our clients.
One of the great things about launching a new brand with a clean slate is that you determine what your business values are right from the beginning. The challenge is to live up to them each and every day.