In part 2 of our blog series “The Complete Guide to Company Core Values”, we shared a process you can go through to identify the company core values that underlie your business and define them more formally.
Why is defining your company core values so important? Well, we know that they play a big part in maximizing employee engagement. In fact, a global study by Right Management found that personal commitment to an employer’s core values is the top driver of employee engagement among 91 possible factors.
But defining your company core values is only half the battle; reinforcing them is another. To make sure your employees live and breathe the company values you spent so long defining, you need to do a whole lot more than set them and forget them. It’s up to you to review your company’s typical processes to find ways you can increase exposure to these core values more regularly.
Here are 7 ways you can keep your company core values alive on the daily so that they’re always top of mind for your employees.
Sharing your values in your employee handbook is a very common thing to do. It only makes sense since this is an important document used to educate new hires on “how we do things around here”. Your handbook is a handy reference for team members to go back to whenever they need some clarification.
But more can be done than just listing your values in a document. For new hires to adapt your values, it’s wise to revisit formal training sessions to see if you can dedicate some time to explaining and demonstrating your values. Take some time to tell your new hires about how your values originated, share some stories of times your team members have demonstrated these values, and do some fun “what if scenario” exercises to challenge your new hires to start adapting their behaviour to these values.
Selecting candidates whose tendencies align with your organization is just as important as finding candidates that have the skills for the job.
You might want to take a look at your job description templates to include a short section on your company values and what’s generally expected in terms of behaviour at your company. This will help give your candidate an idea of what type of culture they’re applying to join in on.
When it comes to interviewing or screening candidates, you can also add in some questions related to these values. For example:
“Here at X, honesty is at the forefront of everything we do. Can you tell us about a time that you demonstrated honesty in your work”.
Including your values in your job descriptions and interview questions helps you in a couple of ways:
If you want your employees to embody your company core values, why not evaluate how well they’re doing this as an aspect of their performance reviews?
Of course, your performance reviews have more to do with how well an employee is meeting the objectives of their roles, but it’s not a bad idea to evaluate how an employee works day to day.
One thing you can do is list your core values on a performance review and include a 5 point rating scale for how well the employee exhibits these core values. If you adopt 360-degree feedback in your company, then this means that more than just one staff member will have input into an employee’s review. 360-degree feedback gathers feedback from multiple people like direct team members, colleagues from other departments, or other managers so that the review is more fair.
By gathering the voices of multiple people, you’ll be able to assess how well an employee embodies your company’s core values. Their ratings on each value will help them identify where they can improve in the future, should it seem like there’s a value they’re neglecting to represent. Improvement on representing these values can be added to the employee’s personal development plan that follows their review.
A fantastic place to leverage your company values is in your rewards and recognition platform or program. When you publicly reward employees for how they work, the impact is far greater than rewarding them privately. When employees see a team member getting rewarded with a timely micro bonus, gift card, or experience, they are more likely to repeat the rewarded behaviour themselves.
Some rewards and recognition software allow you to list your company values and the behaviours you want to see repeated on a daily basis within the platform. You can then start rewarding team members for representing those values. Since rewarded behaviour only improves and increases in frequency, you can expect that this integration of values into your rewards program can have lasting impacts on creating a positive company culture, encouraging staff to live by core values on the daily.
If you’ve done a good job at defining simple values your employees can remember, they’ll have no time recalling your values at any time. But giving a value its own dedicated month can help employees embody a value even more and think harder about what the value means.
Let’s say one of your company values is “integrity”. In a month dedicated to this value, you might:
The sky's the limit for hosting “value of the month”. You can do as little or as much as you choose with this method and can enjoy getting very creative!
If the majority of your workforce still uses your physical office, you might want to consider developing a mural that lists your core values in a high-traffic area like your reception, lunchroom, or large meeting room. Not only will this help brighten up your office and give it some creative spunk, but it will also help your employees remember your values when they can’t miss them.
Another way to visually represent your values is through a culture deck. This idea was popularized by Netflix in 2009 when they released their slideshow deck to walk employees (and the public) through their corporate values. The benefit of having a digital culture deck like this is that it’s easy to share and bookmark.
Since external audiences also want to know what your core values are, we recommend evaluating your list of marketing materials to see where else you can educate the public like potential vendors or job seekers on what your company is all about.
Here are a few marketing materials you can update to include your company values:
We hope this post came in handy in helping you figure out what steps to take to develop your company core values and a strong corporate culture.
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Want to get an idea of how to work your company values into your rewards and recognition program? Schedule a demo and we’ll show you how to get the most out of your company culture.