Updated: Feb 21
“Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison
Easier said than done
Most companies do a great job at coming up with principles and philosophies but not many are able to live up to them on a day-to-day basis. Let’s look at the infamous BP oil spill in 2010. At the time, one of BP’s core values was safety. However, everybody from leadership to contractors and employees did not abide by those values and regularly engaged in unsafe behaviours ultimately leading to the spill. In other words, there was a lack of alignment between values and action.
How to tell if your company is not living up its core values
One of the best ways of assessing whether your company is living up to its core values is through a performance-evaluation of management and employees. This evaluation must go beyond just examining the task itself, it must also examine how these tasks are done. Also, another way of telling whether your company lives up to its core value is by asking an outsider. Whether it is a customer/client, consultant, or a third-person party, having an outsider giving unbiased feedback will help you identify any gaps in your company. Once a gap between values and actions is identified, leadership then can take steps to close it.
Here are ways to live up to your core values:
Live and lead by example (do as I say and do as I do!):
How the leadership behaves sets the tone for the rest of the company. If they are not living by their established core values, this will trickle down to the employees.
Reinforce through repetition
“Repetition encompasses consistency” Leadership needs to more explicit than simply assume that all employees know the core values and are living by it. Principles and values need to be reinforced routinely via all communications, whether it be before, during, and after meetings or sending out weekly monthly newsletters.
Recognize those who live by your values
Remember to always recognize and reward employees who consistently abide by the company values.
Only hire those that align to your company culture
Find a way to incorporate your values to the hiring process. Just as it is important to hire those with valuable experience, it is just as important to hire those that will fit right into the culture
Fire those that do not align to your company culture
This is hard to do but it must be done for the longevity of your company. Every employee is a representation of your company’s vision, mission, and values whether you like it or not. An employee that contradicts your company’s culture will have an impact on not only their performance, but the performance of their whole team.
Align all internal and external communication
This is a way of ensuring that your core values are being reflected to the outside public.
Core values are the heart of the company. They are the fundamental beliefs a company abides by and they act as a guiding principle. These values assist companies remain on the “right” path and help them fulfill their goals and objectives. Core values shape the culture within the company and reflect how others view them. In essence, core values helps clarify the identity of a company.