Recognise This! – Unless your CEO is visibly and firmly behind your core values, they will be meaningless to your employees.
Yesterday I wrote about the importance of blending the “how” with the “what” in managing employees to create a high performing team who delivers the results you need, but within the context of the core values you’ve defined as central to your organisational brand and delivery model.
Expanding on that is this insight from International Business Times, “How Core Values Drive Performance”:
“Core values define company culture, which is a big part of why they’re so important to driving performance. We can represent the relationship this way:
core values → company culture → actions/performance
“Core values are simple action statements that express the business attributes management upholds and believes will lead the company to success. They are not vague proclamations such as “Do the right thing” — these can be interpreted at the whim of management depending on temporary conditions and motives. Core values should be specific and measurable.”
Note the specificity of that last point. Core values are too often given as “teamwork, respect, integrity, etc.” with little to no definition on what that means in practice. Refer to yesterday’s post for more detail on precisely how to add this specificity with strategic recognition.
But then comes the critical question: What do CEOs really think about company values and culture?
- On Values: “Values are at the core of strong companies. They manifest in an organisation by consistently following them rather than consistently stating them.”
- On Purpose: “You don’t teach people how to build a ship, you teach them how to yearn for the sea.”
- On Culture: “What’s inherent to culture is beliefs. What you believe then drives your strategy.”
Where does your CEO sit on that spectrum? Are they fully behind your core values, purpose and culture? Without that executive support, your brand, culture and values are little more than words on the plaque on the wall.