Culture is a consequence of a company's values.
—Charles Day, founder of Lookingglass1
Values that are designed and delivered clearly and consistently are critical in reprogramming your employees experience and thinking. They are the foundation of your company culture.
Let's discuss the importance of values and the fact that they are not just some “philosophical bullshit,” which are the exact words some of my clients used on more than one occasion. Although values are dismissed by many managers, they might be the single most important cultural mechanism and tool that managers need to be using today if they want to get more out of their associates.
Yes, I know many companies have values—they are just something you are meant to have. However, for many organizations and their managers, these values offer little—excuse the pun—value. It does not take long for me to determine if an organization's values are BS. In our cultural assessments, we consider customer feedback on interactions with staff to see if the values are being adhered to. We look at employee feedback on their experiences and feelings at work to see if the values are acted on in the workplace. But even simpler, we just ask employees randomly in the organization if they have company values and, more specifically, what they are. The majority of the time we get some vague answer, even from managers, that there are values, but people are not exactly sure what they ...