Values alone are not enough [webinar]

 Watch the webinar “Is your Mission Statement Dying on the Wall?”

You and your colleagues worked hard to define your company’s mission statement and values—and now they’re posted on your walls and proudly shared by all. But can you measure how well your company is living those values? Are your values helping to hold people accountable for their actions? Do they identify when an employee falls short? Do they indicate when someone should be rewarded for certain behaviors?

If your company lacks a unique set of values or a distinct mission statement, it can be difficult to build a cohesive team and culture of accountability. It can also be difficult to evaluate the performance of your employees. Here’s how to solve that problem.

Identify values that mean something

Your mission statement should include values that are meaningful and distinct. A lot of companies, however, fail to do this. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, about half of Fortune 100 companies claim “integrity” as a core value. But this value does not distinguish a business or define how people are expected to act. It is a table-stakes value. If an employee does not have integrity, they should not work for you. Integrity is an “either/or” value. Either you have it, or you should not be in business.

Connect values to action 

If your company’s proclaimed values include integrity—or something similarly fundamental—you need to restate them. Make sure your mission statement or values express something specific. For example, consider “be dependable” as an option.

Next, connect your mission statement to actionable behaviors. This will make your values measurable and help your employees understand how to bring them to life.

Here are few examples:

• Bring your best self, everyday
• Communicate for understanding
• Recognize how your actions impact others
• Consider everyone’s time to be as valuable as yours

Note that each of these behaviors contain an action verb. Using action verbs makes it easier to evaluate your employees’ performance based on behavior. For example, during an evaluation, a company might ask, “Is this employee someone who values other people’s time?”

The takeaway

Take a close look at your current values and mission statement. Consider whether they could benefit from being restated. Then connect your values with specific behaviors that will not only differentiate your company but give you a framework for meaningful performance evaluations.


Read more on this topic: Why mission statements matter

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