Corporate values are important. However, if they are not properly anchored, a company can lose its credibility in one fell swoop. How to avoid this? Be honest. And work thoroughly.
Values and ideals are part of the business world — companies use values not only to strengthen product features, but also for image purposes and to lead their own employees. Values can make a company more successful. And this is nothing bad per se. Nevertheless, you ought to be careful if you want to remain authentic.
The sellout of values
In the last years, there has been a veritable battle for proper value propositions among companies: if you represent the most noble values you win the war for talents.
Companies without mission statements are practically non-existent. However, there is a danger: one can make up values and pretend to be their proper intentions and convictions. Only to be a part of it. Are the values real? That appears to be secondary. And this is exactly the problem: you can suddenly find yourself in some sort of value bubble, which is going to bursts at some point. And then you will have lost all credibility.
Blood, sweat and tears
Profound changes take time and they can hurt. This means that they are real and that they can function. Deep-scale implementations of new standards or definitions of values work exactly the same way. Well, they may not hurt. But they cost effort. And that is a good thing.
Start at the beginning
In order for the defined values to be sustained and lived by all, we have to start at the very beginning: How do we see ourselves, how do we want to be seen? How do we treat each other, what goals do we want to achieve? To find out these things, it is important to involve the entire team or at least an extended leadership group. New processes must be defined or new jobs created, as well as brainstormings and workshops, in order for the information to flow, so that all levels are integrated and feedbacks are possible. And do not forget the customers: To which benefit or service promise should our company be measured?
Purely a management issue?
Imposed values can never be internalised, because if they are imposed they cannot be values. And yet corporate values are kind of a managerial issue, since not all people have the same values: they cannot just float around as part of the company strategy. They need to be communicated clearly and become binding parts of the strategy. In the preliminary process, democracy and participation can be helpful, even necessary. When it comes to concrete implementation, they do have their limits.
With the right kind of partner
As with any organism, small parts play an important role for the big picture whole. Things can only change, if all the departments are coordinated and optimally attuned to one another. Therefore, start at the bottom. You need the right foundation in order to build on it. Don’t burden yourself with too much, but look for a competent partner that speaks your language. Together you can tackle this alleged Herculean task. Step by step. From scratch, accurately and consistently.
Bild: Pixabay CC0
Published 25.10.2017 © Brandsoul AG