In any given week I talk to leaders who really don’t see the point of defining their company’s values. Whether it’s an entrepreneur who believes that they’re too busy to pause to do so, or a corporate leader who knows their company’s values are posted somewhere on the wall but seem meaningless to the organization.
I’m hoping I can convince you today of 3 very practical reasons why you should be defining your organizational values and using them.
Number one: In this hiring market your company’s culture needs to be differentiated. When you post those job descriptions: yeah they need to sound like they were partially written by HR but they also need to sound like they were partially written by your marketing team. You really want to make your organization stand out. What’s a better way than talking about your organization’s values and how they out-picture inside the team in any given week?
Practical reason number two: In leadership, we are always assessing whether or not our employees are a good “fit” for the organization and it’s really hard to determine that if we have never defined “fit.” And so again, organizational values are a brilliant, succinct way of defining “fit” and then we can compare any employee challenges to those definitions and really zero in on which value it is that an employee is simply not living up to and which ones are they effectively embodying.
Finally, practice reason number three: One of my favorite ways to facilitate values workshops is to invite everybody in the tea to be a part of the conversation and to define the organization’s values if you haven’t done so, but then more importantly to facilitate a meaningful dialogue about how they inform our daily interactions with one another. When done effectively, those organizational values can be translated into team agreements, behavioral agreements that your employees buy into because they helped in their development. It’s a way to get everyone on the team committed to showing up for and which each other in the same ways without you, the leader, having to thrust it upon them.
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