Tips on Building Trust through Values Development

A clearly defined statement of values enables your team or organization to:

  • Define appropriate behaviors
  • Help you know if they are doing the right things
  • Guide you to make right decisions
  • Attract, recruit and select people who share those values
  • Reward those who exemplify the values consistently, and hold accountable those who do not.
  • Narrow the gap between actual values and desired values

Here’s an example of a value statement for your team or organization:

  • Integrity:  Be fair, honest and do the right thing.
  • Customer focus:  Exceed customer expectations.
  • Collaboration:  Work together and support each other.
  • Innovation:  Dare to think big and then make it happen.
  • Excellence:  Never be content with less than your best.

Once you have a clear statement of your values, you and everyone involved can use this information to determine the ways you agree to behave with each other.

Here are some questions that you can ask your team to develop your team values:

  1. What are the things you value deeply about working with our team or organization? What do our customers value about working with us?
  2. What’s the one value that without it, our team/organization would not be the same?
  3. What do you think our core values are?

Look for common themes and select the top 3-5 core values that best represent your team or organization’s guiding principles.

If you already have core values for your team or company, you can drill deeper to develop the value behaviors for each value. Behaviors here are defined as specific, observable or verifiable. For each question, ask three powerful questions:

  1. What behaviors do NOT reflect the value of ____________?
  2. What will we be saying and doing with each other that demonstrates our commitment to this value?
  3. What will we be saying and doing with our customers (internal and external) that demonstrates our commitment to this value?

By developing the value behaviors, you can build a values communications tool that outlines what you are committing to; you can use it to manage performance, onboard new hires, and coach and develop others.