Articles tagged "Core Values"
A client called me yesterday. She was really hurting because of the low morale and the state of divisiveness she's seeing in her team, her family, her community, and the country because of the pandemic, ongoing social issues, and our current political turmoil. So we talked.
Given today is another day of spiking emotions with a potential second impeachment of President Trump, I thought I'd share some of what I shared with her.
As you continue to refine your organization’s current work culture, whether remote or in-person, don’t forget your organization’s values. Your organization’s values are your organization’s ‘House Rules.’ They define the behaviors that are expected, day in and day out, of everyone who takes a paycheck from your organization or who represents it. If someone doesn’t want to abide by your organization’s values, fine. They are simply choosing to work someplace else.
What do you do when your organization’s values mean nothing? Or, worse yet, they’re viewed by your employees with disdain? If you’re smart, you realize it’s time to do some of the hardest work you’ve ever had to do as a leader. If you’re not as bright as you believe you are, you’re not concerned because you’re making money and that’s what matters. Right? Wrong. When your organization’s values mean nothing, it’s one of the clearest signals being sent your way that there are serious flaws in your leadership and your leadership team, your organization’s culture, and your organization’s infrastructure.
When your organization’s values mean nothing to your employees, you’ve failed as a leader on several fronts.
If you haven’t read it yet, read Adam Bryant’s book: Quick and Nimble – Lessons from Leading C.E.O.’s on How to Create a Culture of Innovation. His insights are important for my readers and clients because they so nicely echo several core leadership concepts I share with my clients during my programs or executive coaching sessions with them.
In his book, Bryant covers six key ideas to create a culture of innovation and nimbleness. I’ll list Bryant’s terms and then mine:
We've hit that part of the Strategic Planning process with a few of our clients: It's time for them to put what they've developed to the test. Specifically, a few clients are facing difficult situations with select key staff members. These tough situations are requiring top management to either put the Values Statements to work, or allow the Statements to simply be exquisite artwork and alienate their workforce. Let me explain.
One of the fundamental steps we take with clients when helping them develop a Strategic Plan is to develop a Values Statement, Guiding Principles, or Core Values. Whatever clients want to call it is fine, as long as the statement serves this critical purpose: This statement outlines specifically what behaviors and attitudes are expected of everyone who works for this organization, takes paychecks from this organization, or who serves this organization as a board member or as an agent of the organization. Anyone who represents this organization, from the most senior person to the newest front-line hire, is bound to abide by these values. However, if senior management is not willing to enforce the values on themselves and to live by them themselves – day in and day out – get rid of them. Take the statements out of the company handbooks, take them out of the new employee orientation materials, take them off all of your marketing materials and websites, and take the framed versions off the walls. If you're not going to enforce them – across the board – lose them.
It's relatively easy to develop these statements in our work sessions. The senior team can rather quickly articulate what behaviors and attitudes are important for their respective organization. These behaviors ensure the proper image, working environment, work ethic, and quality standards are met. These behaviors are obvious to most yet need to be shared and explained to all of the employees. However, when it comes time to "enforce The House Rules" as I call it, when a member of the senior team or some other key employee violates the rules, well, things get a little sticky. For some reason, the "rules" don't as easily apply to "key" people – they apply more easily to everyone else. Hmmm, a bit hypocritical isn't it? Can you see how this might cause a bit of a morale problem with "everyone else?"
Use them or lose them. What would you do if this weren't your golf partner? What would you do if this weren't your son? What would you do if your newest front-line hire did this? The rules are the rules. Your values are your values. What kind of character do you have if you allow key people, key individuals in your life and within your organization to do things that go against your values?
Your values – personal or organizational – should be a centering tool for you day in and day out. Use them or you will lose them.
Copyright MMIV - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.