Here, we are referring to your Company values, also known as corporate values or core values.
These are the “fundamental beliefs upon which your business and its behaviour are based. They are the guiding principles that your business uses to manage its internal affairs as well as its relationship with customers”. (crewapp.com)
These guiding principles should be the epitome of how you run your business and your department.
But how do your people view those values?
Are they thought of as being the ‘guiding principles’ for everyday tasks?
Are they mentioned regularly as defining the culture of the company?
Or do people’s eyes roll at the very mention of ‘values’ as they are seen as something that were devised by a management ‘away-day’ but not something that has any ‘value’?
If you want your people to actually ‘live’ your values because they ‘want to’ rather than being forced to, here are some tips that may help in this regard:
1) Ensure you set the example
Being a role model is the most effective way to show the value of values.
This is especially true when you are going through challenging times.
The way you display these values will determine how important they are to you, your department and the company
2) Use your values as a key contributor to the hiring process
One of our clients made a valid point when he said ‘we can train for skills…we can’t train for attitudes’.
When you’re hiring new people, ensure they understand that everything you carry out is based on company values and the application of such.
Your training can help with the skills aspect of the role, but only values can encourage the taking of personal responsibility for attitudes
3) Encourage adoption of your values in selecting people for promotion
If you consistently look at people for promotion opportunities by the way they extol the company values in their roles, you show others that they can be rewarded for such behaviour.
We know of one company that purposely didn’t promote a key worker, not because he wasn’t capable (he was very capable for the new role) but because he didn’t manifest the values of ‘integrity and honour’ in his everyday role.
This sent a clear message throughout the whole business.
4) Integrate values into your performance management discussions
This is where you show clearly how important the values are in everyday dealings you have with your staff.
You embed those values by making them a key part of the discussions in each person’s role.
The more they are discussed, the more notice people will take of them
5) Make sure there’s a match between the values and the way they are marketed to the outside world
How do your people’s LinkedIn profiles adhere to your company ethics and values?
How does your website show them?
What about internal emails and memos?
Everything you show internally and externally should build on the overall messages you want to show
Your values will only be lived by your team if they are seen as a serious addition to the working environment.
Simply paying lip service to values by having them on the wall above reception and then being ignored will not be effective and certainly won’t help you build confidence in them as a driver of performance.
If you take your company values seriously, it will encourage your team to do so as well.