7 ways of putting your core values into action
So, you've established your core values. It isn't enough to simply post them on your website or your office walls. The challenge is to consistently follow these company principles once they've been agreed.
Here are seven ways to bring your fundamental beliefs to life:
1. Everyday management: I've learned that if the core values used by managers and CEOs are genuinely relevant and helpful to their workforce, they can be repeated without much effort. Every time you make a decision, assign a value to it.
2. Recruitment, selection and induction: Create interview questions and evaluations that examine a candidate's fit with your core values. Then give the person a rating based on how well they match each principle. After all, you want your new recruits to fit in. Also, think about planning your induction process around the teaching of your core values.
3. Awards and recognition: Base any award or recognition categories on your core values. Every time an award or acknowledgement is given, it should emphasise one of your base priniciples.
4. Handbooks and performance appraisal: Your performance appraisal system must be built on your core principles. I've found you can link virtually any performance measure to an underlying value with a bit of imagination. You could also organise your employee handbook into sections based on each fundamental principle.
5. Staff newsletters: Why struggle to develop a creative heading when a word or phrase from your core principles would work? This will encourage more employees to apply these basic principles to their work.
6. Storytelling: Everyone appreciates a good story, and this is how most great leaders inspire their employees. Pick a current event that symbolises the importance of each of your company values.
7. Themes: Use your core values to draw attention to your company's opportunities for change. Select a core value and make this the quarter's theme, encouraging all employees to focus on ways they can incorporate the value into their work, thereby further developing the organisation around your core principles.
Once you've established the firm's principles, the most challenging aspect is 'repeating' and living 'continuously' with them.
TAKEAWAY: I've seen companies invest a lot of time and money in a value-discovery process that results in a generic list, ignoring the distinctiveness and strength of their company culture. I've found these seven tips to be invaluable in implementing and developing fundamental principles.