During my 10 years in the field of Workplace Learning and Performance, here are my top 3 observations about company core values:
- Employees don’t know what they are or what they mean.
- Employees don’t understand how to align the values to their every day work.
- Employees don’t see management living the values.
However, most organizations have spent a significant amount of time and effort formulating their core values. These statements are posted on the company website, printed in the annual report, and attached to the walls of the meeting rooms; but what do they mean?
Most employees know they exist, but can’t articulate them. Core values are another example of political correctness; platitudes that no one pays attention to and that have little meaning in the work lives of employees.
The intent of corporate core values is to guide the behavior and decisions at every level in the organization. Core values express how employees are supposed to treat each other as they work towards accomplishing the company’s goals. They are the employees’ standards of behavior, which left unstated, places a higher priority in achieving results than how each person is treated in the process.
Here are some ways to live your company values every day:
- Managers must set the expectation that the core values are “how we do business” and then lead by example.
- Managers must hold employees accountable in demonstrating the core values in their day-to-day work.
- Employees must be recognized for meeting targets AND living the core values. If so, the company will be a great place to work and it will achieve extraordinary results.
Focus on living your company’s core values this week.These tips are taken from one of the twenty STAR Management System® Programs created by Shaun Hopkins Seminars Ltd in Canada that I deliver throughout CARICOM.