When establishing company values, organisations frequently tend to opt for buzz words such as integrity, honesty, customer focus, and respect, which may sound good on paper, but what do these words really mean?
A company’s values, vision, and mission matter. Every successful company has a set of values that act as a compass to guide their employees to achieve their goals as well as the company’s. They are the essence of the company’s identity, their DNA, and they summarise the purpose of the organisation’s existence.
Company values can drive behavioural change and increase performance, to help achieve success and realise the vision. They can also motivate teams, encourage commitment, foster a community spirit, and create a sense of pride.
Yet, for many businesses, these are simply just words on paper. A tick box exercise or PR piece. From hiring to managing, training to performance reviews, teamwork to culture, values and their related behaviours need to be embedded into the heart and soul of the business and should be how employees hold each other accountable for living and breathing these beliefs. Embedding values should be a continuous and consistent exercise where values constantly need to be established and reinforced.
- Capturing the hearts and minds of employees is essential to creating values, in order to personally connect and understand why this process is pivotal to the organisations performance.
- The values must be memorable for employees to recall the mission and to be able to relate them specifically to their role.
- From training videos that highlight stories of how people have lived and breathed the core values of the organisation, to internal newsletters and team meetings, sharing stories is a great way to embed your values into your organisation.
- Sharing best practice, identifying social influencers within the organisation to champion the cause, and setting behavioural expectations is key.
- Organisational leaders must behave and act accordingly to set an example for the wider company. As part of the onboarding process, it may be beneficial to partner new hires with employees that fulfil the values of the company in order to set the tone for new starters.
- Mentoring and coaching programmes can be equally successful in guiding graduates, team contributors of first-time managers to embed the values
- It is important to engage, energise and proactively use the values as a compass for behaviour change and to understand what’s important to focus on within all employee roles.
Adobe and Google are great examples of successful organisations that have invested time and effort to create bespoke company values that best encapsulate the hearts and minds of employees through meaningful and memorable language that enables employees to easily model corresponding behaviour. Google has laid out a set of guiding principles that makes it easy for employees to follow, track performance, and hold each other accountable for.
- Genuine - “We’re sincere, trustworthy and reliable”
- Exceptional - “We are committed to creating exceptional experiences that delight our employees and staff”
- Innovative - “We are highly creative and strive to connect new ideas with business realities”
- Involved - “We are inclusive, open and actively engaged with our customers, partners, employees and the communities we serve”
- Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.
That said, no company is perfect. Not every employee will feel their experience has represented the values being positively brought to life. The goal organisation’s must aspire to is to learn from mistakes, hold people accountable who fall short of expectations and strive towards building a culture where people are engaged, valued, and productive.
To learn more about how we support your organisation to build a shared vision, embed new values, and develop behaviour change, please complete the contact form below. We’d be happy to arrange a brief consultancy call or send you a brochure of our solutions.