As a consultant one of the first thing I have done is asked companies what are their values and if they have them written down.
The results are mixed – but far to often no one can actually dictate those values – much less have them on paper.
Company Values are important because without them it is impossible to know if you have the right person in the right seat. You may have the right person in the wrong seat … or worse wrong person in the wrong seat even.
However to know if they are the right person at all – you need to know if they fit the values the company has.
My challenge to anyone that is unsure what the company values are would be to do a few things:
Look for inspiration in the right places:
Who inspires you – Who has made a positive impact on your organization? These might be current or former employees or even vendors. Identify why they made such an impact. Were they able to meet deadlines, did they communicate well, were they just awesome people with which you wanted to hang out ? Write down the attributes that sick out to you paying attention to patters that crop up during this process.
What inspires You? When you got into the business or when you started the business what inspiration did you have? What gave you the willpower to step out and say yup this is the company I want to be part of or start? Get back to your roots – walk down memory lane. Go over old communications from when you started. Read old documents from the founding of the company … look at old websites on archive.org and old pictures of the team from long ago . . . Get Inspired and then get to work
Involved the Right People
Ask the current leadership for their input. Leadership are supposed to be aligned and help keep others on track to a common goal. To do this they MUST have an idea and be part of the companies values . . . Time to ask them to tell you what they think they are.
Ask Yourself & Others Key Questions:
- Who are we right now?
- Who do we want to be?
If the answers to both of these questions are different that is okay – find the common denominator and try to bridge the gap between the now and the future.
NOW PUT IT ALL TOGETHER:
By now you should know a few things: Your highest performing employees and why they are able to ROCK IT OUT all the time.
You have remembered why you started the company or chose to work for it. You have feedback from your team. You have identified the things the company does well AND you know where you’re at vs. where you’re going.
Cross reference all this data. Brainstorm the beliefs that make up each item. Then ask yourself What Defines, inspires and motivates this company?
Once you know your core values – you can then know if you have the right people in the right seat, the right people in any seat for that matter as well as know when you are required to make any decision regarding a staff member, vendor, etc. . . how to guide that decision.
Here are the CORE Values I have suggested for an organization I help manage:
- How We Treat Each Other:
- Practice Good Stewardship: Be Faithful and diligent with the investments and responsibilities we have been given.
- Treat all People With Respect: Every person has dignity and worth regardless of status or company affiliation
- Benefit the Customer: Understand the Customers Needs and help them reach Their Goals
- Benefit the Company: Others rely on you to do your part just as you rely on them.
- Respect Time: Every person has a limited amount of time in the day. If we give them to much and they are unable to complete tasks assigned we burn them out.
- How We Conduct Ourselves:
- Practice Humility: Don’t be Arrogant; much of our success is rooted OUTSIDE ourselves
- Exercise Self-Control: Use wisdom and discretion in all words and conduct. And when we do not – Apologize.
- Accept Responsibility: Take Ownership of fixing the problem – NOT PLACING BLAME.
- Personal Accountability: Do everything humanly possible to complete assigned tasks and be sure to announce IF we are given to much or the task is something we are unable to complete or take on. In short – Do what we say we are going to do and be accountable to our to do’s.
- Act with Integrity: Protect the Trust that others have places in us and Preserve their confidentiality
- Tell The Truth: Speak only the truth regardless of what, what, when, or where.
- How We Work Together:
- Acknowledge the Contribution of others – We should Share the Podium with those who played a part in our Success – even the small ones.
- Respect Each Other’s Time: Meet when we agree, respect other folks time and meet the target dates as promised OR ask for help if we know we cannot.
- Work As A Team: Individual successes only count if they make the team and the company successful also.
- Uphold Leadership: Leaders are to be honored as servants to others and examples of our values.
- Speak the Truth In Love: Resolve issues with the other person honestly and directly, while Always Seeking WHAT IS BEST FOR THEM.
- Help Others Accomplish Their Goals: Have the same ambition for others’ goals as you do for your own.