Many companies have such a list on their websites, usually under titles like, “How We Operate,” “Who We Are,” “Our Mission,” or “Core Values.”
Values are ideals or guiding principles a corporation wants to be known for and wants its employees to abide by and work within. Virtues, on the other hand, are qualities that are generally considered to be desirable in a person. A virtuous person within a corporate culture, therefore, has a positive influence on the corporate culture.
So, although a corporate value may state “We will all focus on the customer,” any given employee may choose not to do that. Instead, they may focus on a specific task, getting all their work done so they can leave early, or building up their PTO so they can take two weeks off next month. Corporate values come down from on high and employees are expected to live by them, even if the employees had no say in creating these values.
At Big Nerd Ranch, they state, “Our values didn’t spring fully formed from a corporate retreat worksheet. They were built upon organically over the years, and only written down once we realized we were already living them day in and day out.”