Core Values: What Values Mean & How To Use Them
July 21, 2011 19 Comments
Organization leaders must be responsible for the values their employees, organizations and their products / services demonstrate. Taking responsibility for their core values allows organizations to build their corporate culture and reputation with confidence.
How To Use Core Values
Core Values Save Time, Money and Reputation
When employees know their organizations values, they have an ethical base that will help them know how to act and what decisions (including strategic brand decisions), are in the best interest of their clients, the organization and its vision. For example, an organization may be striving for:
- Health & safety
- Continuous improvement
- Customer satisfaction
- Transparent communication
The additional benefit for an organization (beyond increased customer satisfaction), is that once employees understand the core values they will be able to make the right business decisions with greater confidence and speed (saving time, saving money and reducing mistakes). For example, values will:
- Assist in the development of the organization (and department), mission statement, vision statement, value statement and core competencies.
- Influence the product / service design process when developing new products / services.
- Serve as the starting ground for all marketing and advertising strategies and messages.
- Be evaluated and measured within the people being considered for employment.
Example Of Values Disconnect
A large soup company that promotes health and family values has recently announced they will renege on a promise to reduce salt in many of their products – even with evidence that high salt diets have been previously linked to cardiovascular disease.
The beauty is Bruce Mayhew Consulting is able to measure the gap between current organizational values and the core values clients have. Once we know the gap we can make adjustments to align ‘out of place’ values through messaging, training and ongoing support.
Imagine how powerful your product development and marketing messages could be if you knew for certain what your best clients’ values were and could address them head-on?
Support employee behaviour by demonstrating (through analysis and training), how employees can use values like health & safety and continuous improvement as they would use tools to do their job. Measure and reward their success by integrating values into each employee’s performance objectives.
Ultimately, defining and controlling the adoption of core values must be an organization wide commitment with buy-in at all levels. Values are living qualities (never static), that define the ethical personality of the organization and the people who work there. Integrating these values must be a priority for everyone.
In a few weeks we will publish a list of values including Physical Values, Organizational Values and Psychological Values.
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