Do the leaders, managers and employees of your company really embrace and live its values? Or do they treat your company’s values as nothing more than words on paper? If you answered “words on paper,” you’re not alone. To read the rest of this article from the Business First of Columbus, see: How to make values meaningful in your company http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2005/10/31/smallb5.html
Why? Because all too often, the words merely represent what leaders want values to be. Executives often don’t follow their own stated values, and/or create those phrases with little or no involvement from managers and employees, and no one requires compliance with values.
Typical management styles that create meaningless value statements include these examples: See complete article.
Some truths about effective values: See complete article.
Some effective guidelines:
- Leaders can begin the process of values clarification and specification, and then get staff at all levels involved in discussing and modifying them.
- At each level, managers should lead discussions and reinforce organizational values with their actions.
- Feedback must go in all directions, not only downward.
- Create written statements through an iterative process that never ends, so people have an opportunity to buy-in or leave on their own.
- Values become powerful through examples that demonstrate, “When that happens, we do this”
- Stories are the best way of spreading values in action.
- Effective implementation occurs when leaders work in concert with other leaders, and when managers work with their teams and interface with other managers to give immediate feedback – private and public.
- Poor technical performance and out-of-control behaviors, such as physical violence and embezzlement are usually easy to measure compared with behavior that reinforces or opposes attitudes and relational-communication processes.
- Values begin to affect behavior when they are evaluated, praised, rewarded and punished, using as rigorous and non-bureaucratic a process as possible.
- Internalization of values takes time and actually never ends, because people often hesitate and fear reprisals, and there are always new situations and new staff.
There are no formulas, but there are guidelines. If you consistently live your values, no extra effort is required. It’s second nature for you.
Often, individuals need coaching and organizations need consulting to help them design and implement a plan that fits the situation. Especially if that means changing a culture of entitlement. To get the help you need, call Ben at 1-877-828-5543.