September 9, 2021
Corporate values are a powerful tool and should be top of mind for HR professionals and leaders.
The right values have the power to connect your entire workforce and drive everyone toward a shared goal. That’s why values are such an integral part of the Kudos employee engagement and recognition platform. But to get there, you must align your corporate values to your strategy and demonstrate them daily.
When values are distilled from broad, aspirational statements to clear behaviors or qualities, employees gain clear expectations of which behaviors will help them work in a meaningful and valued way.
Why Should HR Professionals Care about Values?
Why Should Organizational Leaders Care about Values?
Whether you're preparing to launch the Kudos platform in your organization, or simply looking for a way to improve and align your culture toward your business goals, these four steps will guide you in optimizing your corporate value strategy:
Hint: Depending on your situation, you may already have your values established and can start at step 3. That being said, taking the time to revisit and refresh values periodically is always a good idea.
"MIT found a strong correlation between financial performance and the degree to which employees believed their company’s values were being practiced."
Every business has a strategy. It’s how your organization plans to achieve success. Do you know what your organization is trying to achieve and how?
Google’s strategy is based on differentiation, specifically developing unique capabilities fuelled by constant cutting-edge innovation – basically doing things no one else does. Alternatively, shoe retailer Zappos’ strategy is to be the company with the best customer service – it makes sense for their values to differ fromGoogle’s.
At the highest level, strategic planning should always include a conversation about values and culture strategy. On average, 50-60% of Fortune 500 companies' business spending is allocated to labor – that human capital has to be aligned with your organization’s strategy and goals – and the right values can do that.
MIT found a strong correlation between financial performance and the degree to which employees believed their company’s values were being practiced.
Chances are, you already have a set of corporate values described on your company website, but do they truly align with your business strategy and goals?
When outlining values, they should be simple and easy to understand versus overly general or aspirational. Unfortunately, according to research by Gallup, only 23% of employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization's values to their work every day.
Hopefully, your values align with your goals, strategy, and mission, but if they don’t – it might be time to coordinate a strategic initiative to update them. Here’s a comprehensive list of core values for inspiration.
Some companies choose to ignore the title of values altogether. Google refers to its values as “Ten things we know to be true,” which includes statements like “focus on the user and all else will follow,” and “fast is better than slow.”
In turn, Zappos refers to its values as a “way of life," with strategically aligned values including “deliver WOW through service” and “create fun and a little weirdness.”
Take the time to choose values that make sense – that's the only way employees will adopt them in a sustainable way and create the culture you’re striving for.
"23%of employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization's values to their work every day."
With your strategic core values set, the third step is defining what those values look like in action through distinct behaviors or qualities.
Identifying specific behaviors tied to each value guides your team through daily decision-making. This can be especially helpful in organizations where employees work remotely, with less supervision or guidance readily available.
In the Kudos platform, every recognition message sent includes specific qualities the person being recognized displayed – all of which are tied back to your corporate strategy(Step 1.)
Continuing with our examples of Google and Zappos, the qualities associated with the value “fast is better than slow” in Kudos could be “fearlessness,” “bravery,” and “urgency,” and the qualities associated with “delivering WOW through service” at Zappos could be “humility,” “attention to detail,” and “understanding.”
Here are some more examples with more traditional values:
Finally, having strategically aligned values and behaviors won’t serve you unless you have a plan of action. One straightforward and incredibly effective way to do this is through recognition.
Simply put, when employees are recognized for a specific action, they’re more likely to repeat it in the future. Explicitly tying recognition to company values helps sync company and employee principles even further.
That’s where the Kudos platform can help.
Tying performance measurement and recognition to your corporate values enables you to build a resilient workforce with a robust culture – laser-focused on what matters most to your organization. What’s more, relating all actions and decisions to your core can improve business performance.
With Kudos, specific value-tied qualities must be associated with each recognition message, keeping them top of mind and eventually leading to a culture that supports the behaviors and qualities that drive better performance. If an employee is recognized on Kudos every time they perform well, they will continue to operate this way. Likewise, when colleagues see that recognition on the Kudos platform, they will understand what they need to do to be successful at work and grow in their role. A culture of recognition built through Kudos® will lead to a high-performing culture. Aligning your values to recognition is a simple, yet powerful tool to achieve your results.
Here’s what this looks like in action, using the Google and Zappos examples:
One benefit of rolling out your values strategy with Kudos® is that if your business strategy changes or you notice issues with your culture, you can easily update your values and begin recognizing employees who are living the new values to quickly affect change.
Identifying values and assigning behaviors and qualities can help you create a happy, focused, and performance-oriented culture. When company culture aligns with core values, remarkable things can happen.
Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.Talk to Sales