Get the entire organisation involved in collaboratively designing and maintaining your company values.
In practice, they are already co-creating the company values through their lived work culture experience. But it may not be aligned with your stated company values!
- First, get on the same page! Find some common agreement about what your values and culture are right now. Then, decide together what you want them to be. 🎯
- Now, you can strive towards achieving those values together. That’s a powerful start already! 🐎🐎🚎
- You can refine your culture from there:
🏢 Build systems and structures that support these efforts.
✅ Reward behaviours that are in alignment.
⛔ Discourage behaviours that are out of alignment.
For example: Customer First
If you want to espouse a company value of “Customer First,” talk to your customer service team members. Your sales staff. The operations and logistics departments. Your marketing team. How do they feel about this? How do your current systems support it, or get in the way?
Maybe they just don’t buy it themselves. Maybe their KPIs and incentives encourage other priorities. Maybe some leaders in the business model a different attitude. Maybe the product or business model isn’t actually set up right for a Customer First experience! They’ll tell you exactly why not, if you ask without judgement.
Continue collaborating with stakeholders from across the business to support the transformation. They will bring pragmatic suggestions. If they have some ownership of the solutions, you will not need to struggle with buy-in later on. The company must support and invest in these if they want to have a company culture that reflects their stated goals.
Always use your collectively agreed company values as a metric. Are behaviours and attitudes in alignment or not? Recognize and reward elements of culture that are in alignment. Continue to improve elements of culture that are lacking or opposed to your company values.
🔄 Please share examples of collaboratively created work culture improvements in the comments below. Where have you seen a company inclusively solicit input from its staff? What is a successful initiative brought by a team member? Where have you seen a company’s culture driven from the bottom up?
See the other elements of this series on company values: Living Company Values, Celebrating Company Values and Disconnected Company Values.