Use Core Values to Align your Team
I have implemented over 50 employee engagement programs and can report with certainty the best ones reward behaviors that demonstrate the company’s core values. Why? Because values matter.
You can build alignment to your company’s business goals by attaching a higher purpose to what every employee does in your organization to:
- strengthen the workforce culture to weather storms;
- enhance your branding;
- increase employee engagement;
- boost productivity;
- feel good about your work.
We’re all familiar with companies that say they value integrity, teamwork, and honesty but don’t walk the talk. Employees feel frustrated, disillusioned, and ultimately disengaged because they aren’t recognized for practicing what their company preaches. On a deeper level, it sends a message that what you do and how you do it doesn’t matter. Values are just words on the website and wall.
Companies are nothing but a construct without the people who support it. We support our companies in the thoughts, conversations, and actions we perform each and every day. Individually and collectively, we build companies by following a set of rules of engagement. These rules typically include the mission, vision, and values a company espouses.
Why do companies struggle with their core values?
Employees are smart. If they don’t see senior leaders and peers demonstrating the behaviors associated with their company’s core values in each and every interaction, then core values are meaningless.
Recognizing and reinforcing your core values is both the easiest AND hardest part of your leadership and management teams’ roles.
Where to start?
- Teach your company’s core values to newbies from the very first day of orientation.
- Reinforce your core values daily. Managers play a key role here. Make it a key metric that is recognized during performance reviews. Coach your managers with practical tips on how to tie actions/behaviors into core values and when to recognize.
- Reward employees for demonstrating core values in non-monetary or monetary ways but make the connection clear. This gives people the “why” and creates purposeful, meaningful to work. Every generation of worker aspires for a job/career that has value beyond just earning a paycheck.
Encourage your managers to review our blog Recognition versus Praise, print and post the (free) recognition wall charts that resonate with your team and sign your managers up for our weekly blog and webinars full of recognition tips and tools to create a culture of ongoing appreciation.
A CSISTARS engagement and performance recognition site makes it easy for managers to recognize employees who live your core values. The tools can provide guided questions that give consistency across the company in how core value behaviors are recognized. Alternatively, it can be left open-ended with the nominator simply describing the achievement the recipient performed that deserves recognition.
Approved nominations that recognize core values get posted on an internal social newsfeed so the recognition is amplified as peers and leadership can read it, “like” or “comment” on their great work. Reward employees with points that can be spent on products, charitable donations, experiences and more – instead of trying to do a one-size-fits-all type of rewarding. What one employee “values” may not be what motivates others.
You can see that achieving alignment through core values is possible with the building blocks provided in this blog. You know the saying, “What’s seen gets repeated.” When everyone knows and follows the rules of engagement, your employees will appreciate how their role contributes to the good of the organization and, more importantly, feel good about it.