About Workforce Echoes

Monday, December 27, 2010

Organizational Values (4 in a series)

Moving Together In The Right Direction
Our last three blog postings have been about organizational values.  Before I switch to another subject, I think it’s important to make one more point about values.  Organizational values define the “right way” for how things should be done in your workplace.  With any goal, there is the “right way” to do things and the “right results” to achieve.  We have all worked with people who do what they are asked to do, but perform in a manner that ends up being destructive to the organization.  For example, consider the sales person who bad mouths other sales team members with the goal of making all of the sales on his own.  He ends up having a high sales volume, the “right results,” but his methods were not the “right way.”  When only the results are made clear, and values are not well defined, people will use whatever behaviors work for them to achieve the goal.  This can create an unengaged work environment and a bad reputation for your company.

TEAM: Together We Achieve More! 

Behaviorally-based value systems take the "wiggle room" out of interpreting the “right way.” Once organizational values are defined, expected behaviors to display those values are also outlined.  For example, we value collaboration and therefore expect all team members to consider others’ ideas, and to have drafts and finished products reviewed by at least one other team member. These expected behaviors are communicated to all team members.  Team members can use a variety of methods to achieve goals, as long as they stick to behaviors that fall in line with our value of collaboration. 

It’s just as important to build a great reputation for your organization as it is to work towards defined sales or productivity goals.  A solid reputation is built when all employees understand and adhere to expected behaviors that communicate organizational values.  The “right way” must be understood.

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