A sincere and meaningful set of values distinguishes a company by clarifying its identity and uniting its people in a shared goal. Truly authentic values infuse an organisation with sound, fundamental beliefs, aligning what all customer service team members say and do to consistently portray the uniqueness of your brand. Organisations that have a clear approach to engaging everyone in these values and ensuring they have the how to skills to demonstrate them also benefit hugely from the buy-in and unity that this creates.
When we talk to people at all levels in organisations about their company values, we find that almost all agree that they are a good description of how the organisation should be perceived both internally and externally. The challenge for leaders is that many frontline team members and managers alike say they are unsure how to apply them to everyday working practice.
Here are 3 steps you can use to bring the values to life through focused activities.
Step 1 – Take stock
A good starting point is to take stock and objectively evaluate whether the behaviours that you see every day in your organisation do reflect the values. You can consider how customers and stakeholders perceive your organisation when they look in and experience it; what emotions do they feel as they walk away, reflecting on what they heard and saw? Is their overall experience consistent with the company values you want to promote?
When values are successfully ingrained in a company’s culture, they should serve as a guiding light for how people behave, ensuring that every customer receives consistent service that reflects those values in a sincere and genuine way. Ultimately, the words you choose for your values are exactly how your people should wish their service and behaviour to be described. Listening and observing behaviours objectively against the values provides a good starting point for seeing whether you are satisfied that your team are living the values in their interactions with each other and customers.
Step 2 – Articulate the positives, and any gaps
When you have an objective view of how the values are being demonstrated, you can articulate the positives, what is working well and where you are seeing great demonstration that the leadership team agrees on how your values should be lived. Conversely, it is also important to articulate where you are not seeing or hearing the behaviours; what would you like to move from and to? By having this objective view, you can use it to take stock again in the future to evaluate the effectiveness of any training or other activities you do to embed the values into your culture.
Step 3 – Provide specific how-to tools and resources
When you have identified the gaps, providing some specific training and support to help people to demonstrate the values in a way that is authentic to them will create a momentum and fast track the organisation’s cultural development. Working with organisations across many sectors and cultures has made it very clear to us at MGI that there is, in fact, a mindset and approach to communication that can be used to demonstrate the values of any successfully functioning organisation. There are two important factors here – the fundamental mindset that each person has and the ability to positively communicate that mindset to others through language and actions.
Empowering everyone with a mindset of ownership and responsibility, optimism, respect for others and a belief in the value that each individual contributes to achieving organisational goals has been proven to be the foundation for living organisational values. This is complemented by having the ability to communicate positively with a solution-focus, whatever the situation, in order to consistently demonstrate the values. When we have reviewed our customers’ organisational values, we have been able to show the alignment of these two important factors to each set of values.
MGI’s Mindset, Language & Actions Toolkit can be aligned to any positive, responsible and professional set of values and can be used as the fast track to help everyone understand how to live organisational values through what they say and do. By giving people tools that equip them to demonstrate your values in their own authentic way, you will close the gap between understanding and buying into the values and actually feeling confident that they demonstrate them in all they say and do.
How can we help?
Find out how our Mindset Language and Actions Toolkit can be tailored to provide your people with a clear pathway to the guiding principles of your company’s values and purpose – book a chat with us today.