The term “value” can often be seen as something that is easily measured like an increase in sales or how much a company is worth. However, intangible core values are just as important in an organization. They set the foundation on which the organization and its culture is built upon. An organizations values can sometimes get lost. They become statements that are simply written down or put up on a website, never to be referred back to again. For core values to be brought to life, they must be interconnected in every aspect of the organization. Creating value is crucial in business, but it can easily become an abstract concept. In this week’s blog post we are looking at how organizations can bring their core values to life.
An organizations values must be believed and implemented by leaders before they can be ingrained within the rest of the organization. Values bring forth a shared sense of purpose and if communicated correctly, they can be the glue that holds the company culture together. While it can be beneficial to have the organizations values posted around the office, in documents, on a website or in a handbook – actively modeling those values and leading by example will make the biggest difference. When organizational values are used as a guide to making business decisions – it empowers employees to engage and do the same.
If leaders of an organization do not take company values seriously, it is safe to say that the rest of the organization and its customers will not either. It is important to remember that values are more than words on a page, they should be woven into all processes in an organization and they should be clear to customers. After all, 91% of millennial’s would switch brands if a company shares similar values to them. Let us say an organization has a core value and commitment to helping those in need, that should be included in decision making processes in the business rather than simply a nice thing to say. An example of this can be setting up employee volunteer programs or strategic partnerships with other organizations that share similar values. How the commitment to value is shown is up to the individual organization, but what is important is that it is done often and visibly.
Dynamic not Static
Although values can be relatively static, as an organization grows and evolves – so do its values. At the end of the day, values should be an organizations real beliefs. As an organization matures, changes and develops, the values should be fluid alongside it. It is important to treat values as dynamic rather than static and outdated – because organizations can be constantly changing, not to mention the eco-system around them.
When an organization is built on strong values – it ultimately brings real value into the business. Ensuring that values are a dynamic part of every day company culture and the organizations decision making process will help keep an organization on the right path.
“Effectiveness without values is a tool without a purpose.” – Edward de Bono