Do you live by your values?

Submitted by Mark on 14th December 2015

promises, company values, credibility, employee engagement

A popular view of a politician is a person who promises the voters what they want prior to performing a convenient U-turn once elected. How many business leaders sign up to the promise of their Company values, but in reality see them as applying to everyone else in their business except themselves?

Credibility is at the heart of any promise, whether it is to supply goods or services, or a statement of how people within an organisation can expect to be treated. Over the last few years the integrity of our politicians has been severely challenged with scandals coming along at a rapidly increasing rate.

A mission statement and the twin pronged approach of “vision” and “values” have become a part of the culture within many businesses. But what does it all mean? What is the purpose of it and how real is it?

Earlier in my career I worked for a retailer who talked a lot about “being professional” (following a set pattern or process), “gaining respect” (frightening staff) and “respecting colleagues” (praising those who agreed with you). The result was a culture of blame and fear, where decision making and creativity were scarce resources. The adage was that if you didn’t make a decision, you couldn’t get it wrong and therefore be fired for the result. That organisation had grown quickly and many of those with seats at the top table were out of their depth. The culture of the business served well to protect their inflated positions and for a few years the profits rolled in.

So what am I getting at?

Customer experience is pivotal in business success and living your Company values is vital in engaging with your staff and motivating them to live these values. In my example the Board Directors beat up the Senior Managers, they did the same to the Store Managers and the behaviour continued to trickle down until it reached the customers. When competition in their sector intensified the business began to struggle with customers voting with their feet.

Company values which are specific to an organisation and demonstrated from the top down are vital elements of your culture and a key tool in engaging staff and improving the customer experience. The key to making them successful is for them to be realistic and genuine. Set your values, live by them and make them an intrinsic part of your business culture.

If you want to understand more about the impact of realistic and genuine company values on your business contact Mark by completing the Contact form to the right or calling him on 01604 763494.

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