Culture

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Company Values?

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Does your company have core values defined?

If so, why? What’s the expectation for those values? I would hope that it’s so employees will live by them. And yet, this rarely happens in organizations today.

So how do you get the most value from your company values?

1. Communicate the values. Then communicate them again. And again. As Lisa Haneberg said in a recent post on her Management Craft blog:

We tell leaders they need to communicate mission/values/goals again and again. And they do, reminding us through mouse pads and video clips. But unless we are going deeper, to the point of bending, breaking, or blending, we are just putting people asleep. To change the culture, we need to persevere/repeat, but we should not do this in ways that prunes our brains. This idea offers leaders and opportunity to combat the lackluster vibe and engage our teams in building better futures.”

2. Recognize and reward only those behaviors in alignment with your values. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) research reported in HR Review found:

Workers whose behavior consistently goes against the values of the organisations they work for are often left unpunished or are even rewarded or promoted… According to the report, communication of values is also a problem with only 29 percent of employees stating that they are aware of the organisations values… Even though these findings reveal a level of disconnection between the two parties, 73 percent of employees said that it is important to have defined values which govern employee behavior.”

3. Include your values as part of your annual review process (and let everyone weigh in). Companies like Zappos have long made the company values a key element of the annual review process. Now the opportunity lies in crowdsourcing the review so all employees can weigh in by recognizing and rewarding peers throughout the year for living the values.

Globoforce CEO Eric Mosley’s book The Crowdsourced Performance Review is now available on Amazon explaining precisely this process. I encourage you to read the book. (Leave a comment here to get a free copy.)

4. Better engage and retain your employees through strategic recognition programs in which all recognition awards are tied to corporate values. Just one of the findings from the SHRM/Globoforce Fall 2012 Report The Business Impact of Employee Recognition is:

When companies have strategic recognition programs – programs where all recognition awards are tied to corporate values – their employees feel more enabled and empowered to succeed and less tempted to jump ship. Employees with strategic recognition programs also possess a stronger understanding of organization objectives and feel more capable of achieving them.”

(See the chart above to see just how much engagement is impacted by this.)

How does your organization get value from your core values?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce (www.globoforce.com), Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition, he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.