Getting Organizational Values and Behaviours Right!!!
Values!! We see them all the time; on the walls of organizations, starring on websites and recited like poetry by leaders worldwide; “This is what we stand for!!”
I really don’t blame them because there is a good reason for them. However, if I were to ask three staff members for their definition of one of their organizational values, I may get three different answers. Yet, leaders believe that this is what employees must pay attention to, so that they could be inspired and lead to the organization’s effectiveness and success in the marketplace.
The reality is that organizational values don’t and cannot paint the whole picture. This is because an organization’s culture and eventual success is manifested, not by values alone, but in the way people behave every day. However, these behaviours must align with the values that have been defined. This is what will make those values come alive.
If action is not taken to actively make organizational values an active part of your culture, it’s just another poster on the wall!!
Core values represent beliefs that everyone who represents the company should share. They are, many times, embedded in the vision and mission of a company and are absolutely necessary. Values may sometimes sound like these: INNOVATION, CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE or QUALITY. These are certainly great ideas to have as values but there are 3 key points to note:
1) Values represent your core beliefs but don’t always represent actions, therefore, are not always observable.
2) They sometimes can be subject to interpretation.
3) Core values don’t provide staff with the tools to achieve organizational goals.
A value is usually linked to what is important and behaviours are how we do things.
Behaviours are actions that are consistently observable. For instance, while INNOVATION may be a core value, it can be exemplified within an organization through CREATIVITY in approaches, and this can be clearly defined and described in detail, providing employees with a clear understanding of expectations. If the company is hesitant to anything new, its likely that their idea of INNOVATION probably doesn’t align with their strategies.
ACHIEVING SYNERGY BETWEEN CORE VALUES AND BEHAVIOURS
Define your core organizational values (fundamental beliefs shared by everyone in the company) and pinpoint the behaviours that both leaders and employees can exhibit in alignment with those values. Beware!! There is a caveat; when defining behaviours, it’s crucial to consider not only the core values, but also what sets you apart as an organization, as well as the pursued strategies. The reason for not exclusively mapping behaviours to defined organizational values is that the behaviours required to accomplish tasks may not encompass all values. This is a significant exercise, and all key stakeholders should be involved in the process to ensure widespread “buy-in.” Properly defined behaviours provide employees with a tangible “HOW” to align with their skills and knowledge.
Communicating the goals to be achieved is important but it is also about letting employees know how we are going to get there using the defined values and behaviours. It’s important for them to understand that incorporating these behaviours into their daily activities guarantees that of the company’s values will show up in the workplace. Additionally, listen to your employees. Hear their comments and concerns. This not only enables clarity, it also magnifies alignment of behaviours and goals when leaders demonstrate what the desired competencies (behaviours, skills, knowledge) should look like “in action.”
CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONSISTENCY
Converting core values into observable behaviours provides a framework for holding both yourself and others accountable for exhibiting value-based behaviours. In the absence of a culture of accountability facilitated by performance management and recognition, your organization may struggle to effectively reinforce the significance of core values. The performance conversations and regular feedback will keep things progressing as they should.
SUPPORT WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
DEVELOP A STRONG COMPANY CULTURE
To drive results and to establish the best reputation for your company, it’s important to put into practice the principles it upholds. The key to achieving this goal is defining and embodying the values and behaviours that will differentiate your company. While implementing a culture initiative like this may seem challenging for a busy management team, THE CLARITY SEQUENCE provides a comprehensive solution.
This system for operationalizing culture offers a range of tools, empowering business leaders with everything necessary to elevate their companies to the next level of performance.
Schedule a call to discover more about how THE CLARITY SEQUENCE can benefit you and your organization.
Tony Ragoonanan is the Founder of V-Formation Training & Development. As a Trainer and Performance Management Specialist, he helps individuals and organizations to align emotion, skill, and behaviour with outcomes. Outside of this, it’s all about family, football, and fitness!!
868-681-3492 | email@example.com