Company values are often a controversial topic. Many have considered them as higher management’s way of telling us how we should behave – perhaps, without leading by example themselves. Many consider company values to be meaningless and hold no real weight. Have you noticed that thousands of companies have the same values? Passion, collaboration, teamwork comes to mind.
However, with scepticism aside, when effective, values can be the difference between good and great companies.
Let us tell you a story…
Aerotech is a successful SME that has been on its business transformation journey for a number of years. In the early days, it set out to define its mission and values. It communicated them by holding several staff meetings and promoted them by displaying posters around the workplace.
Its employees’ behaviour and company culture did not change despite the new values. A member of the shop floor workforce suggested that the essence of the values was right, but the wording did not resonate with people in the business.
Aerotech held a workshop with stakeholders from every corner of the business and it came to light that its employees were very proud of a certain product that was having a significant, positive impact.
The team drew pictures representing these stories and created characters to represent the existing values – each one demonstrating the personality of the value and the desired behaviours. This team briefed the whole company and the stories and characters were displayed around the business creating both a dialogue and a buzz. All new starters were given a character mug that demonstrates how what they do, day to day, contributes to the business.
All its employees now fully recognise the values and often refer to them. Collaborative working has increased, and visitors regularly comment on the “one team” feel across the company. Additionally, customers can see that their needs are at the heart of everything Aerotech does.
Values help to create a belief in a higher purpose. They give a reason to take pride in our work, to be creative and to deliver on our obligations. They influence daily decision making, strategic choices and the opinion of your customers.
Your mission statement and your values need to work in harmony to be effective. For example, at the iNNiTi effect, we want to play an active role in building a Britain that is fit for the future. By inspiring individuals and transforming organisations, we can contribute to the growth of our economy, and create new job opportunities.
Our values support this goal and are evident in the design of our services. We believe that it is through shared ambition, inspired leadership, effective teamwork and human connection that we are able to achieve sustainable results.
Words alone are not values. They will not be effective when imparted on a group by the few. Values are only valuable when they are given meaning by the people who are to live and breathe them.
If you found this blog useful, why not take a look at our tips on managing change effectively.