Corporate values are more than just words on your website and employee handbook.
They are your organization’s principle beliefs. They define your company culture. They contribute to your overall employee strategy – from attracting to retaining talent.
“We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.”– Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos
Yet despite the importance of core values, data from Gallup found that only 27 percent of employees strongly believe in their company’s values, and less than half strongly agree that they know what their organization stands for and what makes the organization different. Another study of UK employees found that more than half (52 percent) of employees can’t recite their vision of their organization, and nearly half (49 percent) can’t recite their organizational values. How can organizations expect employees to align themselves to their mission and values if employees don’t even know what they are?
Companies need to make their corporate values visible. But they also need to go a step beyond visibility. Having corporate values and knowing & embodying corporate values are entirely different things – organizations need to integrate their core beliefs into the day-to-day of the workplace.
How to integrate corporate values into your performance management process
1) Tie feedback to company values
Employees want to be reminded that their work has purpose and meaning. This is more than just checking off goals for the week. Feedback needs to relate back to the company mission and values – this is particularly important to organizations that have implemented or are implementing continuous performance management. Ongoing peer feedback, performance reviews, and employee recognition should be tied to company values. Tying feedback to company values will help employees live your principles daily.
You can check out Pavestep’s continuous feedback software if you are interested a feedback tool that is linked to values and core competencies.
2) Incorporate values into recognition programs
Recognition programs should be linked to company values. Recognition programs tied to values are more than two times as likely to be focused on reinforcing and driving business goals; 33 percent more likely to be focused on empowering employees; and 29 percent more likely to be focused on creating a positive employer brand. Companies can integrate their values into their current recognition programs. For example, if you have monthly reward programs or quarterly town halls, recognize teams or employees that have strongly displayed values. Email newsletter is another idea to recognize employees that have demonstrated your values.
3) Make a values-based culture a part of your leadership practice
Management has a great influence on workplace culture. Leaders have to act as role models for their company values – they need to practice what they preach. Moreover, management must ensure that behaviors that align with company culture are clearly communicated. Behaviors that are not tolerated must be addressed. For example, if excellent service is one of your values, do not let your employees bad-mouth customers – this may seep into customer interactions.
4) Tie values into the recruiting practices
Make candidates know your company values from day one; state your values in the interviews, and ask candidates questions about how they have demonstrated your company values. This will help you hire like-minded people that are aligned with your organizational values and company culture. 91 percent of managers in the U.S. say a candidate’s alignment with the company culture is equal to or more important than skills and experience.
How do you integrate company values into your organization’s day-to-day?