Values – The real decision maker
Values are pillars of any organisation. In my experience of dealing with industries, what I have realized is that any change/strategy that we initiate in company has to be woven intricately into the values of the organisation for it to reap the benefits.
As Roy Disney has rightly put in – “It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR0CBq4WEXY
When the values of the organisation are understood deeply and communicated in the right way, it can go a long way in building a strong company. Not only would it result in the organization having people that are a cultural fit, but also ensure that everyone makes the best decisions FOR the organization even when no one is looking!
We were consulting to our client on how to identify values that really made the company what it is today. We asked the team to write out the values that really were the guiding factors for decision making in their organisation.
The team came up with couple of values which were critical for the company. We then questioned what each value meant to them and not necessarily whether they were right or not or what the outsiders perceived it as. For example, when you say “Ownership”, it means different to different organisations. We asked them what it meant to them. They had to explain it with examples of experiences from day to day work and how it impacted their overall organisation goals and most importantly their valued Customers.
The stories and experiences helped us understand their thought process. After many meetings and brainstorming sessions, 6 values were finalized. Finalizing and documenting was the easier part but bringing it to life was the tougher one!
The entire review system was then designed around these values. Prior to the commencement of reviews, every single employee was explained about what those values meant for the company and how it impacted their goals, vision and most importantly their customers.
As a part of review process, the employees had to give examples of how they were living these values in their day to day work. The managers too had to give examples and rate them on these values and interestingly a large number of reportees and peers also had to rate employees on the given values with examples on how he/she, as an employee, as a peer, as a manager exhibited them.
The transparency also paved way for easy buyin from employees and each one contributed beautifully to making this review a success!
Then an important decision was taken to hire, retain and reward the employees based on these values. This will also help the company to relook at all their processes, systems and people and get an alignment.
Which is the toughest part? It is to ensure this is sustained over a period of time and helps in building a strong foundation which will provide answers/perspective in the best and worst times that company goes through.
Isn’t it the fair to say that values are very important contributors to the seamless scale of an organization?