- Create place mats or tent cards for the kitchen table, magnets for the refrigerator, and posters for your bedroom outlining your family values?
- Encourage you to read documentation on your family values?
- Assess you only once a year on your understanding and potential application?
The same is true for businesses that want to excel in value-based behavior and enhance credibility, trust, and relationships. Here are five critical guidelines I recommend:
- Values are caught not taught. Leaders and co-workers modeling the desired value-based behaviors is the best way to teach others – not sitting in classrooms, taking on-line e-learning modules, or reading a values booklet.
- Values must be clarified through specific behaviors. Individuals may have slightly different mental pictures of the specific behaviors required for common business values like integrity, teamwork, customer service, quality, etc. – especially what it means in challenging and/or difficult situations. Take the guess work out – clarify the most critical behaviors needed to ‘walk the talk’.
- Values must be measured. Avoid a ‘one and done’ annual assessment mentality. Routinely use simple, practical measurement tools and techniques to gage and address behaviors that are perceived to be ‘both’ in and out of sync with your values. Add credibility by pro-actively addressing perceived out-of-sync behaviors.
- Values must be integrated and leveraged in key “people processes.” Exceling at value-based behaviors requires ‘constant reminders’ that Inform – Teach – Reinforce. These “people processes” (we’ve identified 12) are owned by HR but must be consistently executed by all leaders.
- Values must have consistent consequences – both positive and negative. When values are actively ‘lived’ they must be recognized and rewarded. If they are skipped, avoided, and/or only pulled out when convenient, then they must be proactively addressed and corrected. There can’t be double-standards and inconsistencies. It simply erodes trust.