Posted: January 2, 2019
By: Janet A. Johnson
Values are a very important part of our lives. Take yourself for example. Consider how much your personal values have shaped your life. I’m guessing very much! You see, your values are mostly responsible for where you are now and where you will be in the future. Therefore, values play an important role in a person’s personal and business decisions. This is why shared values is a pretty important concept in business.
Before we go into how you can achieve shared values in your business, let’s look at what values are.
The core values of a company serve as the foundation in which members make decisions, interact, and plan strategies. They are the founding principles that drive every decision made by teams or employees, and the company as a whole.
Many people believe core values are dependent on the type of industry. They expect that companies in the same industry will have the same values. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, core values may vary widely among companies in the same industry. Examples of basic core values that you find in a lot of companies are integrity, honesty, efficiency, consistency, and so on.
So what do shared values have to do with business success? In establishing Why Strategic Planning is a Smart Business Plan, we highlighted its importance to business success. However, without your team’s contribution to manage and execute the plan, your efforts in devising goals and objectives are futile. In other words, to execute your plans successfully, it is essential that your team share your business core values. This ensures that they understand and identify with the values. Thus they are able to execute the strategic plan accordingly. Furthermore, it prevents misunderstanding and conflict of values, which often lead to teams losing interest at work.
A survey carried out by Gallup indicated that only about 30 percent of the US workforce was engaged at work. This means a whopping 70 percent of the American workforce
The process of communicating and reinforcing shared values should be an objective in every strategic plan. Meaning, it should be a natural outcome of your strategic planning process. As with any objective, the actions need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented. This should be highlighted in a communication plan, with a clear implementation strategy.
The question of why businesses need shared values often comes up among CEOs. It helps your bottom line! Here’s an example involving one value that all businesses should embrace – safety. Gallup provided a simple answer to this when it shared that more engaged employees have about 50 percent fewer accidents. This tells me that when businesses share and reinforce its safety value, they incur far less in medical costs. This is really a serious matter for businesses! No wonder businesses in the US spend hundreds of millions in dollars on increasing employee engagement.
Let’s look at ways to ensure that your employees share your company values.
First things first! You need to adopt or develop values that align with your company mission, vision, and goals. Next, get your
After defining your core values, it is essential that your employees share these values. Smart managers even consider shared values during recruitment processes. They hire employees who are considered “good fit” as their own values fit in with the company values. However, having strong values is just about half the work. According to a report by the Human Capital League, only about 42 percent of employees know the values of their organizations. So, be sure your employees get the gist of things.
I can’t say this enough! Communication is the easiest way to make everyone aware company values. One of the primary reasons many employees don’t know the values of their organizations is because they are not communicated properly to them.
Your business brand and values start with you and your employees. Therefore, your company values should be evident in everyone’s actions. An excellent way to demonstrate to your employees that you value them is to invest in their development. Apart from the advantage of increasing shared values via employee development, it also increases loyalty. So when you invest in your employees, you increase the chances of them remaining loyal to your brand. This is a win-win for all!
Your decision-making process is also quite essential for a shared value system in the organization. Taking proactive actions is a more healthy business strategy than being reactive. Furthermore, proactive steps are more budget-friendly because they prevent you from spending huge amounts on corrective measures. So take proactive measures! This will ensure you create a well-balanced culture, which forms the basis for rapid growth.
There are other steps that could help create shared values between your organization and its employees. Yet it is quite impossible for us to include them all here. However, the ones listed here is a good place to start.
Creating an environment where employees share the company’s values is quite essential for any business. This helps speed up the growth process of the company by improving the productivity levels. If you haven’t really considered the effect of shared values in your business, you should definitely do that today.
Hi, I am Janet A Johnson a Management Consultant and Life Coach with over 15 years strategic program/project management and business management experience. I am the owner of StrategyNook LLC, a consultancy agency specializing in strategic project management, business management, web development, branding, internet/social media marketing, life coaching and stress management. Schedule your free consultation today and let's talk strategy and customized solutions.
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