Just as our ancestors have done for thousands of years, this Thursday we celebrate World Values Day. According to the official @ValuesDay Twitter #WorldValuesDay, “October 18, 2018 is an opportunity to think about our most deeply held values and to act on them.” Now, as silly as these holidays might seem, they can sometimes be good excuses to start a dialogue about important topics. And, admittedly, it’s encouraging to see them used to draw attention to an ideology that we work to put into action.
Values, on an organizational scale, are crucial to the strength and cohesiveness of your company’s culture. Values determine the common goals of teams and the tone of everyone’s communication. They will help you attract the right people, build the right structures, and lead you toward more competitive advantages. They are elemental statements, and they need to stand up and ring true.
Values can easily come across as a lot of fluff
But you and everyone in your organization should be able to put them into practice, and if that sounds difficult when looking at your current values, then you might want to take a second look. At the foundation of it all, you should hire, train and, yes, even fire by your values.
Your values need to be real to someone right off the bat. And what that requires is a true understanding of how they can be interwoven in people’s everyday work from day one. Values can let employees thrive by providing a framework for them to learn and grow, as well references points to do everything from taking initiatives in a new project to establishing their career at your company.
If you don’t state your values, employees will create their own
What do your values say about your company? How do they reflect your people? Where do they fit in the future of your company? Are they scalable, fallacious, verbose or pretentious? These are just a few questions that you can ask yourself to start measuring the effectiveness of your company values.
Quick. What are your company values off the top of your head? Choose your favorite, and write down why you like it the most. Think about the last time you put it into action, and be honest. Then, try asking a colleague to do the same. Compare answers and maybe even talk about how each of you interprets the other values. How could they be improved?
Full disclosure: Vignette recently rewrote our values
And we took a deeper look into how this process can affect the interworking of an agency environment. We’d love to share what we found. If you’re interested in hearing more about our process or talking about yours, reach out to us here.