More and more organisations these days are shaping their business around a set of core values. These are the ethics and principles that create the cultural context in which we work. And it’s not just a bunch of tree-hugging hippy stuff! There is a strong business case for having a set of relevant values – they can help define and standardise:
· People management practices such as how we recruit, retain and develop staff
· How we interact with customers, including how we market ourselves
· How we interact with colleagues, direct reports and managers
· Corporate Social Responsibility activities
In short, core values can have a huge impact on how we work, and how successful our business is!
“Research has repeatedly shown that visionary companies that succeed for decades are guided by first order values.” (Lord and Benoit 2008)
Much of the Investors In People Wider Framework relates to how values are used in practice, and as an IIP Assessor, I’ve assessed many successful organisations that have made great use of theirs. The most committed employees I see are from non-profit organisations where the values are really ‘lived’.
Some ways to use your core values to maximise your employee (and business) potential…
1. Recruit people with compatible personal values – ask competency-based interview questions linked to the values
2. Communicate the values day-to-day – through discussions, training, meetings, sharing experiences of them in practice and so on.
3. Use values to manage performance – align your appraisals and performance assessment with them
4. Train people to develop them (or at least how they demonstrate them in their day to day job roles), in the same way that you train people in knowledge, skills and behaviours
5. Recognise and reward values-related successes, such as acknowledging great examples of putting values into practice, or ways that people have helped develop the values in others.
Even as a sole trader though, this is relevant to how you run your business. I recently decided it was about time that my own business also had a set of core values, that reflects my personal values and sums up what everyone can expect from TDHR. And these are:
· Expertise – a credible technical specialist in HR, employment law and training, who maintains up-to-date knowledge, skills and credentials
· Accountability – no passing the buck; taking personal ownership and responsibility to keep my promises because I only promise what I know I can deliver
· Responsiveness – to client needs, to swift delivery, to suggestions and ideas and to a changing business and legal context
· Caring – a genuine concern for you, your staff, your business and your customers/service users, and to adding value to each one
· Green – being as environmentally-friendly as possible; reducing, reusing and recycling, saving the planet one tree at a time!
So this is TDHR’s commitment to clients, contacts etc – what are your value commitments to your stakeholders?