We are in week six of the COVID crisis and, in different ways, we are being tested. Your company values are no exception.
How we are acting and interacting during this time is a true, no holds barred test of your company’s values. There is no better situation than now to see if your values are honestly core values.
I recommend taking time to pause and evaluate if you are living up to your company values.
Grab a copy of your values, look at each them, and ask yourself
- Have your company and employees been living your values through this crisis?
- Are they standing up to the onslaught of the changing world, situation, and regulations?
- Have your employees seen actions that prove your company values are true no matter what?
If the answer to these questions for each value is a resounding yes, awesome, your values are core. If not, then some or all your values are not core to your company. It may be time to rethink what is meaningful for your organization.
Core values stand the test of time regardless of what is going on in the external environment. They define what a company stands for, who they are, even if those values put the company at a competitive disadvantage.
They also are at the foundation of the company experience for employees, customers, stakeholders, shareholders, vendors, and anyone who interacts with the organization.
I have done a lot of work with clients in creating their core values. When we brainstorm values, the first words that come up are integrity, respect, and teamwork, often because this is what employees and the executive team think they should have on posters or what the external world expects of the company.
I ask them to prove that these words are true in how their employee behave and act. This becomes a challenge when I hear that there is a lack of accountability, there is unaddressed workplace bullying, and silos are encouraged across their organization.
It is okay to have aspirational values; however, when it comes down to it
- What is the experience employees and stakeholders have of your company?
- What are you not willing to budge on, no matter what?
- What is important to your company to maintain, regardless of what is going on in the external world?
When you have the answer to these questions, you have discovered your core values.
Take some time to review your values. Have a look to see if they need a few tweaks, maybe a refresh, maybe a whole redo. The point is to make sure what is on the walls, is lived by employees in the (virtual) halls.
Need some help? Feel free to get in touch.