Recognise This! – Everyone bears responsibility for living the values, but leadership plays a specialised role, especially in underperforming areas.

Matt Monge’s Workplace Mojo is one of my go-to blogs. I liked in particular this post last week about the importance of leaders to making “culture” real for all employees.

The truth at the heart of Matt’s post is leaders bear a certain responsibility for changing and shaping culture. As he says:

“You’re trying to create the conditions within which healthy culture is more likely to happen.  But meaningful change isn’t just a mechanical thing that happens if we publish values and align our ‘stuff’ around them. Those things help set the stage, but we have to find ways to help our people align around them…

“For example, say you’ve got people coming in late left and right and over and over again for months and months. Maybe you need to ask them why they’re not excited to get to work. Ask yourself why they’re not excited to get to work. How did they get to the point where they felt like it was OK to do that over and over again? Tardiness is just one random thing; it could be a bad attitude, sub par performance,  or some other thing.

“It’s a big and tough responsibility, but that’s what we all signed up for when we accepted positions of leadership.”

Making the values real takes effort. Yes, a great deal can be accomplished by empowering all employees to recognise and appreciate each other when they see the values being lived. But sometimes – especially when the values are clearly not being lived – management needs to intervene. Strategic, social recognition also serves a role here by providing the big data on recognition and the analytics you need to easily uncover pockets where certain values could be improved so leadership can intervene as necessary.

After reading Matt’s post on his own blog, I was thrilled to see Matt publish a guest post on the Globoforce Blog on making your core values stick. If you’re struggling with taking your core values off the plaque on the wall and turning them into something that is real and executable for employees in their daily work, be sure to check out Matt’s list of 10 common reasons your core values don’t stick.

Are your values real in in your organisation? Do you play a leadership role in helping to make them real?