Right Focus Part 3
What is an Organization Value Statement?
Last week we discussed the process of creating a personal value statement and now we will discuss creating your organization’s values statement. The difference between an average organization and a great one is the ability to answer the questions:
“What do we stand for?” “Which values do we embrace and act on as an organization?”
Answering these questions honestly, with the input of your top team members, will enable you to define your organization’s true values and put them into action.
Why You Need a Clear Values Statement
Before you begin the process of defining values, it’s important to understand the role of values in the organization and why you need to state them clearly and communicate them often.
Whereas your organization’s vision statement helps people understand WHAT the organization wants to achieve, your values statement guides HOW people will go about making the vision a reality.
A clear, powerful and true values statement guides individual behaviors and decisions even when you can’t be there to counsel them. It creates boundaries as to what are acceptable ways to solve problems and achieve goals. Your values statement makes it clear to people how they should treat each other and how they should treat customers.
A clearly defined statement of values enables your organization to:
- Define appropriate behaviors
- Help people know if they are doing the right things
- Guide people to make right decisions
- Attract, recruit and select people who share the organization’s values
- Reward those who exemplify the values consistently, and hold accountable those who do not.
- Narrow the gap between actual values and desired values
Example of a Great Organization Values Statement
A great example of a values statement is one we helped a valued client create:
- Integrity: Be fair, honest and do the right thing.
- Customer focus: Exceed customer expectations.
- Collaboration: Working together makes us stronger.
- Innovation: Dare to think big and then make it happen.
- Excellence: Never be content with less than your best.
This is the kind of values statement that clearly and simply states HOW people are expected to act as they work to achieve the organization’s vision.
The Importance of Aligning Personal & Organizational Values
Once you have a clear statement of your organization’s values, you and everyone in your organization can use this information to determine if there is any conflict between personal values and those of the organization.
For example, a personal value might be independence while the organization’s stated value might be participation and consensus building. If you prefer to decide on issues more independently than the culture of the company dictates, you are likely to feel frustrated on a regular basis.
When the CEO, or anyone within an organization for that matter, have personal values that conflict with the organization’s, they are likely to send mixed messages and create inconsistencies that negatively impact performance. The situation only gets worse as inconsistencies get amplified throughout the company.
An example of a worst case scenario is a CEO who said that integrity was a core value of his company, and his top sales people watched him lie to customers regarding the problems with a product!
This kind of situation often leads to high turnover and loss of customers. Having a clear set of values makes it easier to select the right people for the organization right from the start, and makes it easier to identify the root of performance and morale issues and deal with them before it’s too late.
Check back with us next week as we continue to discuss creating an organization value statement.
Learn more about our services for organizations here or contact us at 813-831-9500.