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Why my employees and their partners create our company value


April 9, 2021

6 minutes of reading

Comments expressed by Businessmen the contributors are their own.


Start openly and honestly with you It can be a scary thing, especially if you’ve never done so before. However, it is these difficult types of conversations that offer the most for you and yours in the long term. Talking to your employees about the company and its direction can be great for boosting the team’s morale, helping to identify the organization’s improvements, and laying the groundwork for an honest company. and cooperation that will last for many years to come.

A few years after starting my company, I quickly realized that we needed to pause and think about we have established so far, and That will drive the future development of our company. Above all, I want to ensure that we don’t lose the essence of a small, small company that is reaching for the stars and that we are upholding values ​​of our employees as we move forward. front.

It is important that the values ​​are not built on a top-down approach, but rather from employees who feel personally owned and invested in. DNA of.

Exercises to create value

Although we hold a corporate mountain retreat every year, the 2019 one has an unexpected turn – attendees will identify and reinforce company value for many years to come. To do this, we divided our employees and their partners into groups, gave them magic notepads and markers, and asked them to write two things:

  1. Values ​​they think we have that they don’t want to lose

  2. Values ​​we should adopt or represent more

At this point, we don’t know what to expect. But the results were astounding. This exercise has become a very meaningful and pivotal moment for the company’s future.

Related: Don’t just sell yourself, convey your values: 6 valuable advice

Result

As employees and their partners present and share the values ​​they have written down in the process, I am both stunned and humble. With all groups working independently, each comes up with extremely specific and consistent values ​​and themes. It proves that we lived these values ​​as a company, even before writing them down. Not only employees understand what’s important, but their families too – which ultimately proves our engagement within the company and how we represent our values ​​to the outside world. .

An important value that particularly stood out for me was “choosing development over comfort”. For the most part, stability is the name of the game when it comes to a workplace, but the association reaffirms that everyone at the retreat is ready to push the envelope and reach beyond their comfort zone. to do great things.

Another value that has always had and will remain the foundation is “respect for all people”. Each group shares this exact value, namely this word. Obviously they’ve heard it say and seen it show up enough times to realize that we don’t just care about what they do, but who they are and who they are in their lives outside of work. It means a lot to me that my team and Their partners understand what each person means to the company.

Making sure your employees feel valued is undisputed, but doing exercises like this shows that their feedback is not only heard, but is also used to guide the vision and the company’s future.

Related: Forget team building exercises: Instead, how to develop productivity groups

Executive

After executing the values ​​and withdrew, leadership The team and I sat down and condensed all the results into the company’s five values. Since then, we’ve used these values ​​in every aspect of the company, from setting priorities and making decisions, guiding everyday interactions, attracting new employees, and coaching. Staff and 30% ratings rate our performance. Above all, everyone completely agrees with the way these are shown in our work. The value is nothing if you do not state the behavior involved.

Now, we rarely have a “hand in hand” group meeting where corporate values ​​are not considered and intentionally incorporated through a formal exercise. This surprised our clients at first, but they loved the way we also put these exercises on the client. . We sometimes spend 10-15 minutes on a 25-person introductory session to help a new client’s employees get to know each other better. It’s great to see people who have worked together for years evolve in pricing each other through their first meeting with their new supplier. This demonstrates to our team and every partner or client who works with us that values ​​are not just words on a website. They represent who we are and aspire to be.

Tips for business leaders

When you establish strong values ​​and cultures at your company, your team has to own them as much as you want them to represent. As a business leader, you need to demonstrate a constant commitment to living up to your values, otherwise they are just words on the wall. Once you commit time to them, employees will begin to feel connected and empowered to own them. Without personal ownership, it has no effect.

I am not writing this article to prescribe how your company values ​​or culture are shaped, but I would like to describe how intentional leaders apply for personal ownership that can transform the company. your. If you ask your team why they work at your organization, don’t you want the first things mentioned to be what you represent and how you treat people over their salary? If they see your worth, that’s exactly what you will hear.

Related: Advice is a gift and you should treat it that way

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