Coming up with your company values may have taken several hours of thought, reflection, and discussion. This effort will have been wasted, though, if you stop there and fail to institute them effectively. So, how do bring your organizational values into your day-to-day operations? How do you embody them and not just talk about them?
Recognize employees when they show they know them.
When employees excel at their jobs in their work, tell them you noticed. Mention it in conversation, send them an email, or note your appreciation in team-wide or company-wide communications. Accolades motivate. By pointing out how individual employees live the values of the organization, you get everyone thinking about what they can do to realize them in their work.
Include them in performance reviews.
If you don’t hold your employees accountable, then your values don’t matter. They’re just words. Letters on a page. Sound in the air. If you want your values to matter—to mean something in the organization—then you need to make following them a job requirement. Cover them in performance reviews. Go over with employees where you saw those values in their work and attitude—and where you didn’t see them.
Ask customers and clients to hold you accountable to them.
Are your customers given the option of taking a survey following your service to them? They should be. Ask them how well you exhibited your stated values. Ask them for specifics, and use what they tell you to evaluate your service. Share your findings with the team and get their insight on what changes could be made. Encourage them to be creative.
You can’t just make values happen. You can’t just make them appear in peoples’ work. But with these three steps, you can encourage employees to take ownership of their responsibilities to the organization. And that's the first step to improving performance and improving productivity.