I recently had a conversation with a very smart younger person who works with clients and their organizations to design establish their values as they develop their brand. Values, the new catch, cool phrase in today’s organizations. Values will be put up on the walls and be a part of marketing, training, hiring and all other aspects of the organization but do these values become a poster on the wall or become the culture of the organization?
I will tell you, for many organizations their values may be preached by the C Suite but are not seen at the front face of the organization, the front-line employee. Let us look at an example – if your organization has the value of Integrity at its core to me that means honesty, diversity, supporting the customer and the employee alike. what does this mean on performance reviews, or customer outcomes – does it mean the employee has a pulse and shows up on time for work or the employee can do everything possible to ensure a great customer relationship? For the customer does it mean that they are willing to pay the price because they know the product, they are getting comes with a relationship that will continue beyond the life of the product?
A value like integrity has different meanings at different levels of an organization but the one thing that needs to be realized the outcomes of integrity mean the same that all possible steps we completed in an honest, truthful, and supportive manner for the one receiving the service, the employee or customer. Speaking of the outcome if integrity is a core value it must be transferable at all levels of an organization and observable by those on the outside. A question to ask is if an individual who would not normally need your service (profit or non-profit service) would your system name come to mind as the one to go to if they ran into a situation when services, you provide are needed? If not, is it because your value of integrity is not imbedded in the culture, not observable, only a word on a poster?
Developing a team, an organization regardless of the nature of the work needs a leader (or yes, a leadership consultant) who will observe, support, develop and then start again in the ongoing process from top to bottom, the C Suite to new hire to support the values from poster to culture.