You think you know your organization’s values, don't you? Well, go ahead, try and recite them. You couldn’t, could you? Chances are, your employees can’t either:
- In our Employee Engagement Survey, we found that 58 percent of employees don’t know their organization’s vision, mission, and values.
- 39 percent of employees polled by BlessingWhite say their senior leaders don’t act in accordance with a company’s guiding principles, possibly resulting in mixed messages about what those corporate values really are.
IT’S EASY TO ASK
Have you thought about asking your employees? It’s easy. Here are a couple questions to figure out what they know:
- With eyes closed and fingers crossed, can you recite your organization's vision, mission, and cultural values?
- What three words would you use to describe our culture?
And, you know, if you had an employee survey tool enabled in your organization, these questions could be asked for you.
DO AS YOU SAY, AND AS YOU DO
Don’t be a hypocrite. It’s all too easy to create values and not actually live by them. If you embody your values, they’re bound to brush off on your employees and your overall corporate culture.
1. Be open and upfront about them: Are your mission, values, or vision out in the open? Are they easy to see? These are good, positive things. Let them see the light of day so that every employee sees them every day.
2. Make decisions by them: When reviewing projects and opportunities, ask your employees if any of the options conflict with your values. For instance, if exceptional customer service is one of your values, and you’re looking to cut operations costs, do any of those cost-cutting measure conflict with providing good service? Assess these decisions as a team to institutionalize those values.
3. Ask employees about them: How often do your values come up on conversation? If the answer is zero, it’s time to start talking about them. During team meetings ask how/when a colleague embraced those values, or how a decision that was implemented was made because of those values.
When managers live and breath their organizations’ values, employees get the hint. It’s the first step to showing your team members what’s expected of them, how they will be judged, and, most importantly, how they will get ahead in the organization.