How to Launch & Live Company Values: Part IV
You've made it—we're on our last leg of the values journey!
You've put in heaps of effort and intention to create values for your company. You've followed the treasure map, broke the code to open the treasure chest, identified and shared the best treasure, and now you're swimming in a treasure trove (think, the Little Mermaid's secret cove or Hook's Nevernever Land). Everyone in your company is riding a wave of exhilaration. Your newly defined and rolled out values inspire, protect, support, and act as a compass for your team.
The momentum you've co-created is vital to living your values long-term. But, how do you keep this momentum? By the end of today, you'll be to apply four practices to keep your momentum abounding and values alive.
Psst... Haven't seen Part I, The why and what of values, Part II, How to launch values, or Part III, Common Pitfalls and Solutions? We recommend reading them first and then coming back to this post.
4 Practices to Keep Values Alive
In Parts II and III, we share some insights into keeping values alive and thriving. Below we break down what precisely you can do to make it happen:
Weave Them into Your Workflow
This practice starts when you roll out your values, as we mentioned in Part II. Start with your People/HR team, so it touches all aspects of the employee experience and shows your team what it looks like in practice.
The next step is coaching team leads to weave the values into their existing team culture. Here are the steps you can take using the GROW framework:
Start with one value. Help them identify which value has the highest reach and impact potential while having low to medium effort.
Determine where they are today in terms of living that value. What conflicts with the value?
Understand what obstacles are in their way and what options they can take to move forward.
Commit to taking action. What specific steps will they take? How can they measure their progress? How will they stay motivated? Overcome and unforeseen obstacles?
Set A Standard and Follow It, Always
What good is a value if it's optional? I'd argue that it's not a value, rather an aspiration. Getting a commitment from the leadership team is so powerful because it creates the foundation for the standard. What is the standard when it comes to values? There are three parts, in the Culture Blueprint:
Create a value and never compromise on it.
Make a bold promise to your customers and team members.
Deliver on that promise, regardless of market conditions.
If you're not willing to follow these three parts, revisit your values. It may mean that they are aspirations, not the compass you want to live by.
Test Your Values Regularly
You may believe you're following your standards, but just because you believe it, doesn't make it true. Take time to test your values at least once a year. Ask these four questions:
Is leadership living them, and is it obvious?
Do we hire and fire by them?
Are they used as decision-making criteria?
Can any team member challenge any decision-maker if they believe it violates a core value, regardless of job title?
Assess Where You Can Still Integrate Your Values
You've already integrated your values into People/HR team workflows, and coached team leads to doing so as well, but the work is never really over. The market fluctuates. Your products evolve. Your company's vision advances. Your team grows and brings in new perspectives. These changes create new opportunities to integrate your values in new or different ways.
Create a ritual where the company reflects on these opportunities. A great time to do it is during a company retreat. You can:
Get feedback in advance and bring highlighted themes to a group discussion.
Facilitate games to feel the values and then have a values hackathon.
It's Time for You to Shine
Our journey together has come to an end. Your journey towards a thriving company with dynamic values is just beginning. Remember, the real treasure to any company is the values you live, and it starts with an open mind.
Need help with your company values? Get in touch for a consultation.