Why do Values matter?
Core values define and guide the behaviours that you want in your business, for employees at all levels. They help to create a desirable culture because they give people a shared purpose, consistent experiences and clear expectations about how things can and should be done.
Values drive culture change and take your business in the direction you want it to go. There is a direct relationship between feeling you have a purpose as an employee, and how satisfied you feel in your role and with the organisation you work for. Therefore, a natural consequence of your people knowing, understanding and feeling connected to your company vision and core values, is having a more productive, cohesive and engaged team. This in turn, contributes to a stronger company culture – and your bottom line will thank you for it.
What is culture?
Your company culture is the personality of your organization and describes how the people within it interact, behave and what their experience is like being part of it.
The strength of your company culture is the direct result of the individual contribution that each of your employees brings, combined with how well embedded your company values are.
Having a strong set of well-aligned core values will serve you and your people well across the employee lifecycle. They’ll support in attracting ‘like-minded’ people to work with you; they’ll assist in setting and managing clear expectations with your people as to ‘how we do things around here’, and they’ll even support the exit of those who don’t quite fit the mold.
Therefore, if it’s your company culture that needs a shift in the right direction, aside from making sure you have an efficient way of ensuring that your leaders and their people are having regular, goal-oriented performance discussions, opportunity likely exists to better articulate your vision and values and to bring them to life.
What are you company Values?
When it comes to organizational culture change, a ‘one size fits all’ or top-down approach doesn’t work. Feeling like you’ve been given the opportunity to be part of your destiny makes a change so much easier to swallow, which is why the success of embarking on a process of creating a set of core company values hinges entirely on how consultative the approach is.
Taking your team on a journey with the right communication, giving them the opportunity to provide feedback via surveys and to participate in workshops, will ensure they are invested in the process, understand the current culture and what it could aspire to be. Your values will resonate with your people because they were part of creating them. Therefore, not only will they truly understand what they mean, but they will ‘own’ what the values look like in terms of behaviour day-to-day.
To get there, and for values to truly have meaning and create behaviour change, we have to go further than simply having the words up on the wall. We need to define each value in terms of behaviour and plan out how to ensure they are ‘front of mind’ and ‘lived’ every day across the employee lifecycle.