In my last blog “Core Values: 3 Step Discovery Process” I outlined a simple process for clarifying your organization’s Core Values. Many teams stop here because they are uncertain exactly how to apply and implement the Core Values. It is critical for the leadership team to remain consistent and follow through. I suggest the following applications:
1. Hiring & Firing. Use a Values Based Interview. New hires may have the necessary technical skills for the position however if they are not aligned with your organization’s Core Values then this can be disastrous. Good HR teams will evaluate an applicant’s skills, personality style, interpersonal skills AND assess for real examples of how they demonstrated your Core Values. This will determine what they prioritize at work, what drives their behavior and whether their priorities align with your Core Values. For example, ask a question related to each of your organization’s Core Values (either through written question and answers or in live interviews).
For example: if “Integrity” is a Core Value, you can ask “What would you do if you had to work with a person who was bending the rules? Or for “Flexibility”: tell me about a time when a project challenged your way of thinking and working”.
Also, pay attention to the following red flags: when the candidate is not aware of your company’s Core Values (or their previous employer), they are arrogant, inflexible or they can’t provide or reflect on real examples of when they demonstrated a CV. Current hires who consistently engage in behavior that violates the CVs should be terminated; as uncomfortable as firing may be, maintaining this kind of employee puts your team and brand at risk.
2. New Hire Orientation. All new hires should undergo an orientation training on the Core Values of your company. The trainer should share real-life examples of how these Core Values are alive within the organization, set clear behavioral expectations and explain how translates into various aspects of the business from customer communication, internal communications, team-work, and leadership.
3. Current Team Orientation. All current team members should also be trained/oriented to the Core Values. Have them share stories and examples of these Core Values and invite feedback about how the company could be more aligned with the CVs. Are there certain areas of the companies (e.g. written communications to clients) that don’t accurately reflect the Core Values.
4. Reward & Recognize Values-Based Performance. Employees who consistently demonstrate organizational Core Values should be recognized and rewarded. An employee’s alignment with the CVs can easily be evaluated in their quarterly or annual performance reviews. Again, CVs are a set of behavioral expectations for everyone to follow; this can easily be observed, evaluated and rewarded. Bonuses, peer-nominated co-workers, and recognition—both public and written—of the employee are just a few examples.
5. Leadership. Senior leadership needs to be firmly aligned with organizational Core Values. Senior leaders standing by what the company believes in becomes is important modeling for other employees.
6. Consistent Messaging. Re-enforce the company’s Core Values in all messaging, including meetings, newsletters and internal communications. Make sure that this internal messaging is consistent with your external messaging: a) are your employees are communicating the brand and its Core Values? b) is your marketing, including social media, accurately conveying the Core Values?
If your organization needs my Consulting support to either identify and/or implement its Core Values then please contact me here.
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