Company values- what it means

Company valuesVALUES

Haven’t you heard your business leaders claiming to run the company operations with clearly defined corporate values?

I have been in townhall meetings, leadership seminars, where often leaders use the phrase “company values drive our business growth”.  In one of the seminars on being asked by the journalist to list down company values, the leaders stumbled and fumbled to name them all. He could only manage three out the five.

Values define company culture

This is not an unusual situation; most of the business leaders generally use the phrase company values to justify their rational and sometimes not so rational decision-making ways. Don’t be surprised if even your employees follow the same approach, which would eventually get translated, into company culture.

Can you as an employee list down all your company values, which the business lives by. Chances are these values do not get registered by simply putting on the CEO or HR leader cabin space. You have to live your values in every interaction with your customers and employees to set the example for all employees to follow.

Let alone living the values, most of the employees don’t even know what your business stands for.

Remember values are only behaviors which already exist in the company; you need integrate those behaviors with company values to drive employee response.

Company values

How do you drive the values culture

Putting some posters and branding collaterals on company walls is not good enough to drive and live company values. There is much more to that

Tips for communications specialists

  • Identify- Values are the heart of your business, but first identify positive behaviors which you want to bring out via communications campaign to meet your strategic goals. This will form the basis of your company value system.
  • Use case studies- once the behaviors have been identified you need to articulate those behaviors to the employees. Start by showcasing a team or an individual who has demonstrated that positive behavior.
  • Real Time- Get leaders to talk about values not just in press conferences or townhall business meetings, but in their regular interactions with their Direct reports(DRs) or other employees.
  • Focus on the sensitivity- an effective campaign will focus on the cascade from the leadership to their Direct Reports. Itf its driven from the top, the adherence is easier(sad but true)
  • Patience- Don’t wait for a miracle via this campaign, anything which revolves around behavior change takes longer to take shape, don don’t use it a quick fix.
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