Take our free Leadership Assessment
Liz Weber Blog Header

Your Values Statement Serves as Your House Rules

Share:

Your Values Statement Serves as Your House RulesWe have all seen values statements hanging on the walls of various organizations. They're usually nicely framed and tastefully hung for all who pass by to see. However, other than knowing the executive team developed them as part of a strategic planning effort, most of us who walk by our own organization's values statement rarely understand its purpose - other than serving as a nice piece of artwork.

The values statement of an organization is what I call "The House Rules."

It outlines how we're going to behave as we fulfill our mission and move towards our vision. It's called "The House Rules" because it serves the same purpose as the house rules when we visit someone's home. Certain behaviors are acceptable while we're there and others are not.

Values statements may outline what performance standards an organization will exhibit

(i.e., exceptional product and service quality, complete customer satisfaction, and fair pricing and profits). It may also outline what behaviors are expected of the organization's employees:

  • Demonstrate Integrity
  • Communicate Honestly and Plainly
  • Think Strategically
  • Share Your Knowledge
  • Support Innovation and Improvement

Values statements outline whatever standards and behaviors are "non-negotiable" to maintain the integrity of the organization's culture. At a minimum, values statements serve three main purposes:

  1. First, they serve as a unifying force in establishing a corporate or organizational culture. What beliefs, attitudes, and values do we as an organization believe in and want to live by?
  2. Second, they outline what type of behavior is expected of EVERYONE who draws a paycheck from the organization or represents the organization. This means front-line staff to the company owners, and the board of directors as well. Anyone who works for the organization or represents it, must abide by the organization's values.
  3. Third, values statements serve as a powerful management tool to help re-align poor performance. Now if an employee behaves in a manner that is not in alignment with the house rules, the values statement can be used to redirect behavior. For instance, if an employee is rude to a customer, the manager can use the values statement to re-align the employee's behavior. All the manager needs to do is point to the values statement on the wall and ask the employee,

A critical point to remember with values statements is that they serve as a guide for the owner and management team's behavior as well. If the executive team can't abide by the house rules themselves, take the values statement off the wall until it's revised to state behaviors that can be exhibited by all of the staff.

Don't just enforce them on others. At a bare minimum, management must acknowledge its own violations of the house rules. If it doesn't, employees see there's a double standard in accepted behavior. When that happens, the employees view the values statement hanging on the wall as nothing more than artwork. Morale will deteriorate because there's a double standard: Management doesn't have to follow the rules but everyone else does.

Ask yourself if your behavior falls in line with the values statement? Because as long as you draw a paycheck from the organization, these are the house rules. You were probably given a copy during your interview before you were hired. They're included in your employee handbook, which you've acknowledged you've read and understood, and they're posted on the website and throughout the facility. If you don't want to abide by the house rules, you're free to draw a paycheck elsewhere. The rules are the rules; as long as you work there you have a choice: either you follow them or you leave.

The true value of a sound values statements is hard to determine. But well thought-out, organization-specific values statements can set expectations for behavior, performance, communication, personal and corporate responsibility, personal and professional development, as well as, fair pricing and profits. With those expectations clearly defined, what it takes to succeed in the organization is easy for everyone to understand.

Take a look at the values statement hanging in your organization. Review it to see if your entire organization lives by and enforces your own "house rules." If not, it's time to redecorate.

Copyright MMX Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.

Liz Weber CMCLiz Weber, CMC CSP

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.


Copyright © Weber Business Services, LLC All rights reserved.


 


36 thoughts on “Your Values Statement Serves as Your House Rules”

  1. Truden says:

    Super post, tienen que marcarlo en Digg
    Gracias

    Truden

    1. Liz says:

      Thanks Truden! Spread the word.
      Liz

  2. dental hygienist says:

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

    1. Liz says:

      Thanks for post. PLEASE - if you like this information - SHARE IT! Also, if you have colleagues, your employers, association members, etc that you believe could benefit from this or other information, share it with them. I honestly use this information with just about every one of my clients and it is a HUGE management tool - when it's used as such. Don't just create artwork. Create & use something meaningful. FYI - there's more info like this each month in my ezine. Just subscribe at http://www.WBSLLC.com Manager's Corner. I'm happy to help whoever is willing to listen & learn! Liz

  3. seomoz says:

    Hi, colleague! I like your blog, it's so interesting! I think it's pretty popular, isn't it?

    1. Liz Weber says:

      We've had lots of interest in how to write mission statements & values. Many organizations mess them up & lose out on 2 great management tools.

  4. Wordpress Themes says:

    Nice post and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.

    1. Liz Weber says:

      I'm happy we could help with the assignment. Did you get your grade yet?

  5. MarkSpizer says:

    great post as usual!

    1. Liz Weber says:

      Thanks Mark. Come back & see us again!

  6. Toyo Tire Review says:

    Hey great website, I noticed your site when I was doing some research on how to improve my site.

    1. Liz Weber says:

      I'm glad you like the site. What specifically do you like? We're always trying to improve here too.

  7. tudor clothes says:

    Excellent site

    1. Liz says:

      Thanks - spread the word!

  8. unthinkable lyrics says:

    Thanks for sharing, I found this story, while looking for some free downloads and ran across this site, useful comments and great points made.

    1. Liz says:

      You're welcome. Bookmark us and come back often!

  9. forex robot says:

    nice post. thanks.

    1. Liz says:

      Post us on digg or delici.us etc to share us with your friends!

  10. HotFrolla says:

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, watch south park online

    1. Liz says:

      Thanks for taking the time to show your appreciation! We do appreciate it. Sign up for our free monthly leadership articles at https://www.wbsllc.com/blog/managers-corner-ezine/

    2. Liz says:

      Thanks for taking the time to show your appreciation! We do appreciate it. Sign up for our free monthly leadership articles at https://wbsllc.com

  11. physician assistant says:

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

    1. Liz says:

      What a great comment to pop up on my screen as I'm drafting information on our upcoming Strategic Planning webinar series!

      I provide this information free as a way help organizations create USEFUL Values Statements instead of ones that simply sound nice. A nicely sounding Values statement doesn't help a manager provide guidance to team members. More often than not, it has a detrimental effect on team morale. Now that's a shame.

  12. Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, I bookmarked it.

  13. pell grant says:

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, I bookmarked it.

  14. Prostate Cancer Symptoms says:

    Great, I never knew this, thanks.

  15. CNA Training says:

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, I bookmarked it.

  16. pell grants says:

    Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!

  17. Crazyupload says:

    I really like your writing style, excellent info. regards.

  18. Prostate Gland Problems says:

    My partner and I really enjoyed reading this blog post, I was just itching to know do you trade featured posts? I am always trying to find someone to make trades with and merely thought I would ask.

  19. Crazyupload says:

    I will post a link to this page on my blog.
    Thanks!

  20. Ellie Coleson says:

    Awesome website, great information you got here lol it actually relates to the life I live..

  21. Jeremy Stolze says:

    I’ve bookmarked, Dugg, and I joined the RSS subscription. Thanks! .

    1. Thanks Jeremy! So glad you've tagged me to follow!

  22. Gisela Gannoe says:

    Excellent article and easy to understand explanation. How do I go about getting permission to post part of the article in my upcoming newsletter? Giving proper credit to you the author and link to the site would not be a problem.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Leave A Comment

Posted by Liz Weber CMC on April 17, 2010 in Strategic Planning and tagged , , , , , , , ,