A lot of companies have gone through the process of defining their core values, but many of them are gathering dust on the wall, ignored and irrelevant. Yet so many leaders and consultants champion them as a vital part of your organization.
Best selling books like Jim Collins’ Built to Last and Gino Wickman’s Traction agree that establishing and maintaining your core values is critical to your business’ long-term success. I’ve even covered it on this platform before. So, what’s the secret to making them actually work?
It all starts with a conversation. Conversations create culture. If your core values are key to understanding and fitting into your culture, then they must be a part of all your important conversations from company-wide meetings to individual performance reviews. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use your core values to make them work effectively in your organization.
Use Them to Hire
Your first conversation with any prospective employee should be whether they’re a fit with your core values. Your hiring manager should be able to easily communicate your company’s purpose, vision, and values. This conversation should inspire and attract those who share your values and, just as important, deter anyone who doesn’t align with them. The faster either of those outcomes happen, the better.
Use Them to Fire
The more your core values are known and followed by the employees in your company, the less you’ll tolerate anyone who doesn’t align with them. Core values create standards, and it becomes painfully obvious when people aren’t meeting them. If implemented correctly, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without clearly stated core values. Your company will become great at weeding out bad fits, which will be a major boost for morale, productivity, and unity across your team.
Incorporate Them Into Reviews
Using your core values to analyze your entire staff is the most important way to make them real in your organization. Using a peer review system with your core values as the standard is the secret sauce to making them meaningful for the long haul. The EOS model (from the book, Traction) includes a tool called the People Analyzer. It’s an excellent way to implement this values-focused performance review.
Reward With Values in Mind
Employees who live out your values are helping you achieve your vision, and they should be rewarded for it. Promotions and salary increases should only be for those who are excelling in your company. So, how do you know if someone is excelling? It happens when they align with your core values. It’s as simple as that.
Celebrate When They’re Followed
You become what you celebrate. Consistently celebrating those who demonstrate your core values is how you educate and remind your team of what matters to you. Every time you have a company meeting, you should be telling stories of individuals who are living out your values. Also, share how they’re making an impact for your team and for your customers. Have your managers constantly looking for these success stories and put a system in place to celebrate them regularly.
AM can help you identify your core values and bring them to life in your organization. Our OVRFLO process combines a unique blend of clarity, purpose, and creativity to energize your brand and strengthen your culture. Talk to one of our Strategists today to learn how we can help you create the organizational momentum you need to get to the next level.