We know that organizational values play an important role in employees’ engagement and happiness. You don’t just want your employees to know them—you want them to live by your values and trust that the company will too. Here are five things you can do to make this happen.
1. Put ‘em up: The first step is to make sure everyone can find your values. Make them prominent on your website. Post them in your building, especially in places employees will gather together, like conference rooms. Of course, you don’t want to stop here—people will get used to the posters and stop noticing them—but it’s a start that will support all the next steps.
2. Share them from the very beginning: Don’t wait until first-day orientation to tell an employee your values. Discuss them in the interview. Even include them in your job listing. You want every person who comes aboard to know what they’re getting into. If they won’t fit in with your values, it’s better for everyone involved to find that out early, not after you’ve made a job offer.
3. Put your money where your mouth is: Set a good example with the company’s behavior. Use your values to guide important business decisions—even if it’s hard. And tell your employees about it. That way they’ll know the organization stands with them in supporting your shared values.
4. Spotlight successes: Highlight great examples among your staff. If someone’s actions or daily behavior really represents one of your values, find a way to acknowledge them. You can institute company awards. You can provide a system for peer recognition. Public appreciation is a great way to get your employees thinking about and celebrating your values.
5. Find out what your people think: For your employees to feel really engaged with your values, they need to know that they have a say. Get their feedback on how your company is fulfilling (or not fulfilling) the values. Listen to their suggestions on what you could do better.
Don’t let your company values get forgotten and gather dust somewhere. Use these steps to get your entire organization to take part in bringing them to life.