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It’s understood by most business owners that to achieve long term success, certain systems need to be well-established. There is an evident need for competent management to handle daily operations and also a need for a business model that addresses a need for the customer. Despite being equally important, however, not all of a business’ basic elements are universally addressed. One such element is its values, those innate and immutable principles that guide it.

Where do our values come from?

As individuals, our values come from a variety of places. They are strongly dependent upon our environment and can usually be traced to the primary influences of our developing years. Parents, teachers, coaches and religious leaders may contribute towards shaping the unique systems of values which you now hold so dearly. Generally,these principles are seeded so deeply that they are inseparable from the person who holds them. To understand a man’s values is to understand the man.

But what about a business’ values?

The implementation of clearly established values is truly of vital importance for a business hoping to set itself up for long-term success. It allows the employees to buy into a system and align themselves with the company. Furthermore, by making the principles evident, employees can more easily handle situations that are uncommon and may otherwise be morally ambiguous.

The values of a business will usually mirror the values of that business’ founders. After all, their personal morals are likely to be so fully integrated into their daily lives that creating an entity that behaves in any other way would be nearly incomprehensible. For this reasons, the values of most businesses will seem familiar.

What are PolyClean’s values?

From its inception, PolyClean has held fast to four key values:

• Honesty – Each of our customers, vendors and co-workers get the truth, every time. While we may not choose to disclose everything to everybody, we will never mislead or lie, regardless of the consequences.

• Respect – People and business ought to be treated with respect. Anyone who is disrespectful or unworthy of respect disrupts our operation and we would rather end a business relationship than endure someone who cannot abide by this principle.

• Progress – Perfection may be impossible, but pursuit of it is a virtue. Our efforts are regularly focused on improving our services and finding new ways to help our customers. We refuse to stand still.

• Action – No time is better than right now for tackling our next challenge. Procrastination is always an obstacle to achieving our goals, so we strive to ensure that ours are action-oriented individuals.

These are the ethical guidelines that shape the PolyClean position and they have served us well. Each of our employees understands that their behavior should reflect the values of the company. There is no ambiguity—everyone knows where we stand.

People and business

In the end, businesses are organized groups of people working, directly or indirectly, to help other people. It’s always about people. If the businesses were somehow exclusively about dollars and cents, it would be a whole different matter, but Henry Ford was on to something when he noted that “a business that makes nothing but money makes a poor business.”

Sounds like a man with pretty good values…