Six Things CEOs Should Know About Corporate Core Values
Posted by on September 4, 2012
Organizational core values are a primary determinant of culture, employee satisfaction and business performance. This article addresses six core value topics that CEOs and business executives should know about. The Six Topics
Below is the core value list:
* Core values are the building blocks of organizational culture. * The process of defining, measuring, and improving core values can be an excellent vehicle for improving organizational culture. * Core values provide a common language to address unacceptable behaviors in a less threatening way. * Core values guide decisions and emphasize what is important to the business as the organization continues to change and improve. * Core values influence business performance.
* If core values have not yet been established, a step-by-step process described in this article can be followed to discover them. 1. Core values are the building blocks of organizational culture The core values of an organization are the foundation of the corporate culture. Organizational core values do more than just promote ethical business practices. The system of core values that a business owns will shape the culture of the enterprise, the decision-making criteria of your managers and the actions of your employees. The more strongly defined the organization’s core values, the more likely that this value system will serve as a code of conduct that promotes and guides strategically-aligned behaviors within managers and employees. 2. The process of defining, measuring, and improving core values can be an excellent vehicle for improving organizational culture There are many benefits to be realized by utilizing core values to drive cultural change, but perhaps the following are most significant: * The process defines a shared set of beliefs and commitments to the way the employees of a business want to behave and treat each other * The process guides decisions and emphasizes what’s important to the business as plans are developed to change and improve the organization * Measuring provides a way to quantify perceptions (ratings), understand context and experiences (comments), and understand which core values appear to most influence overall belief system satisfaction * The process enables organizations to track progress, both formally and informally 3. Core values provide a common language to address unacceptable behaviors in a less threatening way Core values help fill in the spaces where HR policies have gaps. The story of an organization with a rumor-spreading employee comes to mind. It is shared here to illustrate the point that core values reinforce desired behaviors and help manage those that fall out of line with expectations. The Story: Several instances occurred where an otherwise productive and valued staff member created office turmoil as a result of spreading rumors about other employees. When the employee was tracked down as the source of the rumors, the area manager stepped in to confront the individual and put a stop to it. The employee insisted that the rumors were true and that no company policy had been violated in talking about other employees in this manner. Fortunately, the manager was able to point to the organization’s core values as a reason to stop the negative behavior. The employee was reminded of two core values being violated (paraphrased here): * Employees will be open, honest and respectful in both internal and external communications * Employees’ actions will contribute to creating a positive work environment The employee agreed with the manager and stopped the negative behavior. This story demonstrates an example where core values helped a manager address a pattern of unacceptable employee behavior in a non-threatening way that defused and rectified a bad situation. 4. Core values guide decisions and emphasize what is important to the business as the...
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