Your corporate values are the sum of the top 4 or 5 personal values you and your leadership team hold. Similar values add strength to an organization, creating alignment and synergy while conflicting ones take away, often manifesting as internal conflict and ‘problem employees’.
How do your corporate values add up?
It’s important to remember that values are essentially neutral, being neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. Because we are born with them, our values are a reflection of who we are at the most fundamental level. It’s all about how we leverage values to drive corporate culture and build a strong team.
Knowing your core values allows you to develop constructive relationships in both your personal and business life. This is why it is vital to your organization that you identify and understand your core values. While you may not share similar leadership styles with everyone on your team, it is essential that you share core values.
Let’s talk about the ‘problem employee’ example. When working with corporate teams on values clarification and team building, the issue of a problem employee always comes up! Without fail, an analysis of the problem individual reveals that they share less than 2 or 3 of the core 4 or 5 values. There is no training or coaching that will alleviate this no matter how much you inherently ‘like’ that person.
Remembering that values are neutral, it’s not that he or she is a bad person; it’s just that his or her values don’t align with the corporate values. Because values are fixed beliefs that we carry with us through our lifetime, the best solution is to let that person go so he or she can find a position with better alignment.
Getting Clear on Your Organization’s Values
The process of values clarification takes time, but it is worth the investment. It may require multiple sessions with your leadership team to distill down to the core values of your organization.
Identify the Core Values – Start by coming up with your top 4 or 5 values. While we may hold many more than that, only the top 4 or 5 can be our ‘core’ values. Use this list of values to get started.
Attach a Meaning to Each – Write out what each of the core corporate values mean for you in one, succinct sentence. This is another way to discover a lack of alignment, as what you mean by a particular value may be entirely different from others.
Assess Values Alignment – Use the core values to assess your leadership team and talent base. Chances are that you will find the individuals that cause the most conflict are out of alignment with your organization philosophically.
Use Values as a Filter – Integrate values into your hiring process and use it to both filter and attract the right talent. The best people will share the top 4 or 5 core values with your organization.
Need someone to help your leadership team clarify your corporate values? Contact me to set up your free consultation!