How to keep your company values strong
For some companies, listing their values publicly is just a mere formality. Others that do want to live up to what they list as their core values can have a hard time doing so because their values are not clear or not strong enough, so they cannot survive the test of time. Companies can have a particularly hard time with this when they experience a rapid growth.
For Buffer, everything they do has to be lined up to their values. Buffer makes an effort to practice what they preach: they want to talk about their values constantly so that everyone is on the same page and, not only so, but to also use them when looking for solutions to problems and context.
Hire employees that fit your values
If this is a priority for your company, you must make it a priority. However, it will not really be a priority unless you establish mechanisms that makes values fit a key determining factor in your hiring process.
Here is how Buffer makes sure that values fit gets the attention it deserves: all candidates have to go through a first interview that focuses exclusively on the candidate's fit with the company values. Only after such interview is complete will a candidate be evaluated on his or her competences to take on the job.
Keep your values at the forefront when making product decisions
Your products are a reflection of your values. Buffer is aware of this, which is why they make a conscious effort to constantly analyze their products in order to make sure that they are not incongruent with their company culture.
This means that there will be times when a product will have to be modified or even removed if it doesn't fit in with the message the company as a whole is trying to convey.