I don’t know about you, but from time to time I run across companies who look and sound good on paper, but it doesn’t always seem to be the case when dealing with their employees. You’re always going to run up against this no matter what industry you are in; however, I think there are several ways to ensure your core values are represented by your teams and your company.
First and foremost, it’s the responsibility of the company’s leaders, those who started the business, to make sure they are displaying every aspect of the core values, culture, and mission they put in place at the start on a daily basis. If you don’t, then how can you ask or expect your teams to embrace your vision? It’s also important these days with the rising social media presence to make sure your website and social media posts go hand in hand with what you are putting out there. People have become very savvy in spotting things that just don’t jive.
Second, it’s important to go over your vision, values, mission, and purpose with all prospective employees during the interview process. This serves two purposes, one so the prospective employee knows the company’s foundations and second, they need to decide if their values mesh with yours. Of course, you’ll get people from time to time who say they agree with your vision and values but then once in the door they are at opposite ends of the table. There’s not much you can do about that unless you have a strong intuitive side and can detect a line of nonsense a mile away (which I do have).
Third, you must make sure you continually communicate the company’s core values, in words and actions, with all your teams, but especially those at the top. They have to embrace and exhibit the traits of not only leaders, but also display the characteristics that go hand in hand with your company’s values. Lead by example!
I read a great email last week from Rick Boxx, who said, “Numerous research projects have revealed that the most prosperous organizations are those that are values driven rather than rules driven. Many organizations go through the exercise of developing values, but then they are ignored.”
“I used to believe that culture was “soft” and had little bearing on our bottom line. What I believe today is that our culture has everything to do with our bottom line, now and into the future.” Vern Dosch, author, Wired Differently.
As leaders in our company’s it’s our job to make sure we practice what we preach, believe in and are passionate about what we do, and set the example for our teams. We should emulate our company’s core values, even when no one is looking!
One team, working together, with the same passion and values have unlimited potential to accomplish great things each and every day.
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