Isn't it great when you can cross something off your list in just a few minutes? Get groceries -- check. Send thank you card -- check. But some things deserve a bit more time, like coming up with your company values.
In fact, it may have taken hours of thought, reflection, and discussion to create yours. So, how do bring those important values to life in your organization, and not just talk about them? Consider these suggestions:
1. Recognize employees when they exhibit those values
When employees display company values in their work, tell them you noticed. Mention it in conversation, send them an email, or note your appreciation in team-wide or company-wide communications. Accolades motivate. By pointing out how individual employees live the values of the organization, you get everyone thinking about those values and thinking about what they can do to realize them in their work.
2. Include them in performance reviews
If you don’t hold your employees accountable to the organization’s values, then your values don’t matter. They’re just words. If you want your values to mean something in the organization, you need to elevate them. During performance reviews, discuss with your employees where you saw those values in their work and attitude—and where you see room for development.
3. Ask customers and clients to hold you accountable to them
Are your customers given the option of taking a survey rating your interaction with them? They should be. Ask them how well you exhibited your stated values. Ask them for specifics, and use what they tell you to evaluate your service. Share your findings with the team and get their insight on what changes could be made. Encourage them to be creative.
You can’t just make values happen. You can’t just make them appear in people's’ work. But with these three steps, you can encourage employees to take ownership of the organization’s values, making them real and making them matter.