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Does your business live up to its Values?

A lot of organisations have values statements. These are fairly easy to put together but not so easy for organisations to live up to. Companies we work with are constantly asking us to help them implement their values. There are some key reasons why businesses find this so hard...

Values are often aspirational rather than an actual reflection of a culture. It is not enough to say that ‘people are our greatest asset’, this has to be reflected in how the company runs day to day. This is not as easy to implement.

Even if people like the values, it doesn’t mean they will ‘do’ them. ‘Cognitive bias’ tells us that human beings will often have greater expectations of other people than themselves. Therefore, people will believe it’s the company’s responsibility to ‘do’ the values and not make the link to their own individual behaviour.

If you are a leader or HR professional struggling with this right now, take heart: you are not alone. Here are some top tips for getting your values back on track:

  1. Make sure that all training and development programmes have your values at the forefront. Ask Coaches to reference them in coaching sessions, facilitators to raise them at away days. Get feedback on what people are finding difficult.
  2. Look at your leaders: are they behaving your values? If not, you have no chance that other people will. People do what leaders do not what they say. You may want to change some people in leadership positions, have them take some personal development, or you may decide to change your values or interpretation of them.
  3. Make sure your policies and processes support your values: it’s so easy to overlook these. For example, if ‘Transparency’ is a value then make sure this is well defined (you can’t tell everyone everything!) and are reflected in your processes.

Values are a great way to bring people together and define a culture. Remember that the work required to integrate them into your organisation is so much more work than defining them in the first place (and that can be hard enough). 

We teach more about values in our Mind Mastery course.

Watch this short video on the findings of our leadership study to discover what key values are present in great leaders.

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Blog Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

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