For many it’s distilling the “Why” of the company, for others it’s creating the “Humm.”

No matter what companies are looking to discover, portray, or inspire in their employees or potential customers, a compelling mission and distinct set of core values can become “the deeply ingrained principles that guide all of a company’s actions; they serve as its cultural cornerstones,” according to the Harvard Business Review.

The Chamber recently took on the task of updating our mission statement and core values to more clearly reflect what we are about and what we stand for. It was with this in mind that we approached a few members and asked them how they showcase and live their values. When values succeed, the habits and behaviors of your team will embody the core values you set forth.

Russ Levanway | TekTegrity

Like individuals, companies can fall into ruts. They can sink into day-to-day operations without ever addressing the purpose or meaning behind what they do, forgetting that it’s the “Why” that brings a company’s true reason for being into focus and motivates people to show up every day.

For us at TekTegrity, finding our “Why” took a long time. We found you can’t do this kind of deep work overnight because you have to ask yourself some tough questions – primarily being ‘Are we as a company really living out our mission?’

For example, fixing computers is what we do, but why we do it is far more important; we enhance productivity for our clients to enrich their lives. So our new mission became, simply, “Productivity enhanced, lives enriched.”

And now, more than a year later, I can ask anyone in the company what our mission is and they know it right off the bat. Engagement is up, too. The vast majority of our team say they find their work meaningful, which is important to me. If you’re going to spend a third of your life working, you had better find meaning there!

If you’ve never taken on an exercise like this, I highly encourage it. You’d be surprised how connected you and your team can become to the “Why” of your company or organization if you take the time to identify it.

Mary Verdin | Verdin Marketing

On paper (or let’s be realistic, on screen), Verdin’s job is to solve our clients’ communications challenges. How do they get the word out about their products and services? How do they express points of differentiation? How do they stretch a limited budget and leverage new technology? These are questions our work helps them answer for themselves and communicate to their communities. But that’s just the “What.”

It’s the “Why” that keeps us motivated, working harder and loving what we do.

Our mission, crafted through much input, refinement and discussion, is: “To create success and inspire, through the power of our work.”

Our mission is our purpose, and it touches on what sets us apart: integrity, commitment and enthusiasm. It also speaks to our capabilities: strategy, innovation and loyalty. We believe in our clients, our community and the contribution of our work.

Success is our product, but inspiration is our heart. We strive to inspire our clients through good work; our community through supporting local nonprofits; and our employees through building a thriving culture that evolves with their needs.

In today’s world, being true to your brand goes beyond providing a service or a product. The line between work life and personal life has blurred, and embracing this change creates an organization that is better and stronger – one that supports both employee and client as a whole person. It means incorporating our core values into everything we do, inside or outside the office.

Here’s to an inspiring 2017!

Lori Keller | Martin Resorts

How does Martin Resorts, a local hotel company, create what we call Humm?  It’s all about living our mission and values as a team.

We spent several months and enlisted more than 50 employees to develop, finalize, and implement our mission and core values. And it starts from the beginning with re-writing all of the job descriptions to incorporate our mission and values and using these principles when considering who to hire. The process has also driven other business decisions, including the decision to develop an employee scholarship program and changing employee benefits to provide more value.  We’ve even developed a program to encourage employees to promote job openings to people with similar values, fondly called “Trade Your Friends in For Cash!”

Even with all of those things in place, sharing employee stories is one of the biggest ways we reinforce our mission and values and keep everything humming – and of course distributing harmonicas to all of employees helps too.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent employee newsletter.

When 10 Marines were stranded after their helicopter broke down, the staff at the Paso Robles Inn worked together to make their stay extra special, arranging transportation, leaving candies and “thank you for your service” cards in their rooms and organizing a beer tasting event. The Marines were very touched by this and expressed how much they enjoyed their time at Paso Robles Inn.  They really felt the Humm…

Dan O’Hare | Glenn Burdette certified public accountants

Each day we make a personal commitment to go beyond – build deeper relationships, provide innovative solutions, work collaboratively as a team, serve our community, and be active stewards for the future of Glenn Burdette.

That is our mission statement. And like every great organization, we believe ours is unique and powerful and provides our staff with the spark of motivation they need to Go Beyond, each and every day in everything they do.

On November 2, 2016, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for 40 Prado, the new homeless services center. Sitting next to one of my partners, Mical Bovee (who happens to be the volunteer secretary/treasurer for the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County) I couldn’t help but reflect on how we Go Beyond for our community.

As I looked around the audience that day, I recognized what it is that makes our community so special, and in that moment realized that our entire community has a Go Beyond spirit. Our community has hope where others somehow find solace in hopelessness. We seek and find solutions where others only see unsolvable problems. We value our differences, listen to one another, even those with passionate dissenting views, and find common ground…. literally and figuratively.

On April 11 of 2016 I received a handwritten call to arms to support the 40 Prado project. I met with my partners the very next day (who at that time of year are working around-the-clock to go beyond for our clients) and we committed to providing computer stations for the new center. Our IT staff immediately got behind the project and committed to coordinating and handling the computer installation. Time, treasure and talent….

That day in April 2016, our firm lived our mission statement. I am proud of Glenn Burdette and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to Go Beyond in this wonderful community.