Does your company culture align with your values? 3 steps to get your values back on track
Defining clear values that set yourself apart from your competitors is one way you can be guaranteed to stand out from the crowd. These values could include specialising in positive employee wellbeing, supporting charities or being committed to being an eco-friendly organisation. These specialist values can establish a lasting rapport between your business and employees if these are values which strongly resonate with them. Shared business values can also be a great way to create unity between employees too, helping everyone to strive towards the same shared goals.
It can be easy to slip into a culture of continually reminding others of the business’ values through rhetoric and believing this is sufficient in creating a positive working environment however you always need to practice what you preach. Both employees and customers respond most positively to an organisation that clearly demonstrates the values that it advocates through actions. Understandably, it can be difficult to ensure that all parts of your business are implementing these values if you manage multiple departments or individuals; however by creating a structure that reinforces the business values at all stages of employment, you can ensure that these values are continually reinforced within the workplace, through your employees and for your possible customers.
1. Training- The first step in ensuring your company culture aligns perfectly with the values you profess is to make sure that these values are being enforced from day one in the workplace. Clearly laying out the company values should be just as important as teaching the employee their job role. If a new employee starts work and is not aware of the importance of these values from the offset, then it is not guaranteed they will make these values a priority within their work. Encourage coaches to explicitly mention these values within new employee training. By reinforcing these values from the beginning, employees will always promote them within their work.
This step is not just confined to the training of new employees. Values can also be reinforced within the company culture at events such as employee away days, appraisals and team meetings to ensure everyone is always on the same page. In addition, these forums provide a great avenue to get feedback from your employees about your business values and whether they are being communicated successfully to both other employees and the customer.
Starting off on the right foot is a key part of making sure your company culture aligns perfectly with your values.
2. Policy- Once your employees have been made explicitly aware of the values of your company, you can ensure that the policies implemented reflect this perfectly. Without the policies to support the values you claim to possess, these values do not mean much to possible customers.
For example, if your business was dedicated to providing a supportive network to staff, it would be crucial that you are seen to be supporting those who are struggling. If your company culture is one which praises those who stay late continually, this could juxtapose the values which you are claiming as often those who are always working late are struggling with their workload. Similarly, if you wish to be known as a ‘green’ organisation, make sure all your employees are following these guidelines for food waste and recycling. By creating policies which plainly illustrate the values of your organisation, customers can clearly see these are of vital importance to your business.
3. Leadership- Finally, it is important that those who are in leadership roles are also clearly adhering to the company values. Leadership roles come coupled with the responsibility to guide others towards success and when it comes to company values, this means clearly expressing them in and out of the workplace. For the company culture to perfectly align with your values, the leadership team needs to be acting in the way they expect others to act.
It is quite possible that you may need to rethink your values if after implementing these tips they are still not being conveyed effectively. This should not be feared as a continual revision of practices is important to business growth and this process can bring employees together. Similarly, this can also provide a chance to revise who is given the most responsibility in the business as those who embody the values wholeheartedly should be the ones representing the business publically.
By following this simple advice you can realign your desired values with your company culture to ensure both your employees and your possible clients have an accurate and positive representation of your business and its ethos.