Fixer: How can we inspire staff to live our values?

27 Sep 2017 By PM Editorial

Sam Sales helps an HR professional who is struggling to embed a new set of organisational values

We spent a lot of time and effort putting together a set of core values, working with consultants and groups of employees. But how do we bring them to life in the workplace? And how do we get staff interested and engaged in them?

So far, you’ve tackled this in the right way. You asked your employees for their views (which is crucial so they don’t feel the values are being ‘done to them’), you sought feedback and you acted on it. Hopefully you’ve ended up with values that mean something to you and that haven’t become overly complicated or loaded with ‘consultant speak’.

The next stage, as you’re aware, is to make sure those values are lived right from the top of the organisation and reinforced in everything you do. That means the cosmetic things (handbooks, screensavers, signage), but also embedding them in your appraisals and other performance management processes, the language you use when recruiting, internal awards programmes and internal comms channels.

You should think about teaching the values, both through onboarding processes and other training, targeting individuals in customer-facing roles who will embody them externally. And you could consider a ‘launch’ that will ensure employees understand the context behind the values, perhaps by getting your CEO to talk through them.

It means, of course, that your work is only half done, but taking the next steps now will ensure the investment you’ve made so far is genuinely worthwhile.

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