Does your organization have core values? How well do you know and practice them?
Organizations typically have a set of core values that are listed and posted, perhaps on a website or in a marketing brochure, but not as part of the day-to-day operation of the organization. They are often just aspirational, which means they are nice platitudes that we hope we follow most of the time. Often core values are ignored, and sometimes even a source of cynicism. “Oh, we say that we embrace kindness, yeah, right!!
I help organizations identify and implement practical core values that transform company culture. First you must affirm only values that truly define your culture. Less is more. I highly recommend no more than three simple values. These values must be non-negotiable standards applied to every team member. They must become the primary basis for hiring, firing, evaluation and celebration. Effective core values define the organizational identity.
I have coached several organizations that have transformed the morale and spirit of the company by investing time and attention on identifying, defining, and communicating core values. They begin to recruit people who will embrace and display the core values. These values become the primary standard of evaluation and accountability throughout the organization. No one is exempt.
Such rigor creates a culture of people who are truly on the same page. It also provides a clear message that if someone does not embrace and practice the core values, they will not remain on the team.
Finally, everyone makes it a practice to catch each other demonstrating and celebrating these values. One company I coached gathers everyone for a few minutes every Friday afternoon to recognize team members that have displayed the core values that week. It is a powerful and transformational ritual.
You can create a strong team culture. Shared core values are the foundation. It is a delight to implement core values because it drives team excellence and company performance.