Integrity, Respect, Consistency, quality and so on… Are they the same set of core values adopted by your company? Really? What a coincidence! hundreds of companies do so. Amazed, don’t be as there are many of them which may not even know what are the actual core values of their organisation, it’s a trend to set values in company, so they all do it without realizing its worth or its implementation.
Most often than not we get confused between the goals, culture and core values in an organisation, there is an organsation whose Core value was consistency, one of the trainer who was a friend of mine asked the MD of the company- “Why Consistency?” and he replied, “ Because we want our people to give consistent results in everything they do.”
The trainer was taken aback, as this was not the core value it was just a goal which the company wanted to achieve. This is exactly what confuses a lot many employees also and they actually stop believing in the phrase called CORE VALUES, as they see that the implementation of these so called values is not there at all.
I know of another company where everything was totally centralized (as in every decision was taken by or with the involvement of the MDs office, which is usually involved in making only important and not day to day decisions) and one of their core values was ACTION which meant taking their own decisions. Such was the hypocrisy and how do you think employees working in such companies would ever respect their core values leave aside the matter of following them.
One of my bosses used to tell me to breathe the core values of the companies and believe me we all used to do the same…the values became an integral part of our daily work that we hardly could get rid of them even after leaving that organisation. It is not just by designing the Mugs or diaries with the core values but also taking ownership of each decision or action taken keeping in mind the core value of the organisation. No matter how difficult it may look initially but once you start believing in them, they can bring back success and more success, and Yes dear friends I still breathe the core values of that company.
If we have to make the values successful then we have to take some real actions, such as:
Be true: Yes, to have a set of intelligent core values the company has to be true to itself so that what they are currently doing can be made their core values or even if it is an aspiration value they can actually imbibe them in their culture by making it clear to the employees the difference between the two, so that their trust can be held and they also believe in the similar authentic set of values. It should not be the case that the senior management says something else and the core values goes a separate way, no; both have to be persistent for their values.
Own it: Serious trouble starts in companies when the senior management or leaders of the companies do not own these set of core values. They pass it on as the work of employee relation or HR department, which is not true. HR can only help in proper communication, awareness, and ideas for implementation etc but the ownership of such things remains with the leadership management only. They cannot pass the buck by saying that HR is responsible for maintenance and adherence to the core values. No, it’s completely unrealistic and so the authenticity of such values is just not there. In such cases its better not to have any core values for the companies than to have the wrong ones.
Breathe them: live them, read them, believe in them and as my boss used to say breathe them, which is what makes them successful. Do not compromise on the core values no matter what. Lead by example, if as a leader you own them and start showing each one of them in all the areas of work, your team members will surely do the same. If you have a core value such as “PROFESSIONALISM” make sure you show such an outlook in everything you do, no conciliation allowed which may mean a decent attire, no gossips, no nonsense.
If “INNOVATION” is your Core value adapt it everywhere, give incentives for any new innovation or creativity, and distribute rewards in order to build the trust of your people in these values.
So go ahead, find out your core values and let your company be the proud owner of some Intelligent Core values.
Share your core values for better understanding and for my learning. :)