In order for organizational values to be more than just words, leadership must both live and communicate them consistently. Then, and only then, can employees and customers exhibit these values alongside the company. As a leader, ask yourself, “Am I taking the following steps to keep my company’s values alive?”
- Focus on the “how” not just the “why” and the “what”
As an organization, your “why” is your vision and your “what” is your mission. Your values are are going to be your roadmap for “how” to accomplish your vision and mission. Many organizations don’t take the time to plan out the roadmap for success, particularly regarding their corporate culture. Being intentional about your organization’s culture can help drive buy-in from your employees to execute your corporate vision and mission.
- Make values important
Are values within the organization set up as performance objectives for your employees? You know the saying – put your money where your mouth is – if you voice that values are important, back it up at annual review time. Many of the organizations we all look up to place values at the top of the priority list when it comes to evaluation of their employees. It ensures that those values are being considered at every level of the organization.
- Make values visible
Do you talk the talk – and – walk the walk? In other words, are values visible within the leadership of the company through action and example? If not, then your values are not alive. Employees need to see that their leadership implements the values that they hold deeply. If you consider some of the greatest ethical failures of organizations, it always begins with leadership. If you’re not executing your values, how can you expect your employees to?
As a leader, it is your job to instill a culture that celebrates value, and employees that exhibit company values. Once you implement these steps, your company can work in cohesion towards a common goal, with your core values forging the path to success.