Your organizational values consist of all of the behaviours that exist within your business - not just the positive values you want to have, but also negative or neutral behaviours that are being acted out.
Values and behaviours are closely tied to your company culture and can have an impact on those within as well as outside of your organization. Evaluating and understanding the current values and behaviours that are active within your organization can help you pinpoint which ones you would like to continue to reinforce and reward, and which ones you hope to change or add to your organization (i.e. what types of behaviours do we hope to see in the future?)
One exercise you can do with your team is to create a two-column list with your current values and behaviours on one side, and your desired values on the other. Once the list has been created, your leadership team can evaluate the top behaviours that you would like to foster, along with the values and behaviours that do not support your organization’s vision and mission.
Once you have defined the top values and behaviours that will support your organization’s future, you can develop ways to foster each behaviour.
For example, if customer service excellence is one of your desired organizational values, which specific behaviours and actions would represent this? To put it another way, when looking at "Customer Service Excellence", which specific actions demonstrate this value?
Following this process, it is important to clearly articulate to the rest of your people what these behaviours and expectations are. It’s also imperative that alongside the clear communication of expectations, values are also reinforced and modelled by the leadership team (i.e. talking the talk, rewarding the walk & walking the walk). This will help to support what you what to achieve and to help desired values and behaviours “stick” in the future.
Your organization may have the best product or service, a strong competitive advantage, and a great plan to move forward, but if your people are not aligned on the organizational values, you may experience friction that prevents productivity as well as project and strategy implementation.
In contrast, a well-aligned team who understands the organization’s vision, mission and values have a better opportunity to be a strong performing team that can help propel the organization into its desired future state.
Watch our video for a walk-through of the process for developing values with your team:
Is your organization in need of a strategy update?
Our Strategic Planning Starter Kit has everything you need to work through the entire process and create your own strategic plan, complete with corporate values.