Building a culture of good values may be the best thing you ever do
Do your personal goals and those of your stakeholders align with your values? If they don’t align, people procrastinate and little progress will be made with your planning efforts and most other aspects of your business.
Congruence relates to job satisfaction, more profitable growth, sustainability with positive outcomes driving the organisation. In just a few words, set out the passions, values and commitments which define you personally and your organisation.
What does your organisation stand for, and what do your community members and employees exemplify? What do your values contribute to your business, the community and the world? Answering these questions succinctly and meaningfully is challenging but worth pursuing in order to craft ‘core value statements’. These commonly-held beliefs and commitments will be the glue which holds everything together.
Every individual and every organisation is involved in making hundreds of decisions every day. The decisions we make are a reflection of our beliefs, and they are always directed towards a specific purpose. That purpose is the satisfaction of our individual or collective wants and needs. They are important because they help us to grow and develop. They help us to create the sort of future we want to experience.
Spell out your values for all to see
You need to be spelt them out for two reasons. Firstly, it will attract the kind of people you like to be with and work with. Secondly, people without knowing will become disenchanted very quickly when they find out their’s are fundamentally different.
Align your values and success will follow
I know from experience, values define what people consider worthy. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify other people’s beliefs. Some go to great lengths to hide their true values if they are not aligned with yours.
In organisations, people must agree with the vision, mission, and values communicated by the leaders. Otherwise, they are at odds with the activities which contribute to the organisation’s success.
For example, if you commit to recycling and supporting ‘green’ initiatives in your community but your organisation contributes significantly to pollution problems, you may find people unable to embrace and endorse your planning. Your business will start to suffer as job satisfaction and productivity begins declining. Or, worse still people start to work against you trying to impose their own beliefs.
Your values need to be strong and worth defending. If people suddenly leave, for no apparent reason, then you can be reasonably sure that they had an underlying conflict with values, somewhere in your organisation.
Most people have never been exposed to any formal learning about their beliefs. However, they instinctively know what they believe in and what they expect from others. When used to make decisions, we make a deliberate choice to focus on what is important to us. When shared, they build internal cohesion in a group.
Obviously, any exposure to learning about beliefs will intensify and bring other values into conscious minds, at which time they can choose to act upon them. Any training on this subject will, in most cases, bring about positive results and ideas to improve people’s relationships and their lives.
“Bitter experience has taught us how fundamental our values are and how great the mission they represent”. Jan Balkenende
“Today we are afraid of simple words like goodness and mercy and kindness. We don’t believe in the good old words because we don’t believe in the good old values anymore”. Lin Yutang