Results = Belief + Action

We must do more with less. We must work together to get results. But we each come to work with different backgrounds and experiences. How do we create a culture where people feel like they belong, own a sense of accountability and are looking to contribute every day? We create a common set of beliefs that drive everyone’s actions and ultimately achieve the desired business results.

Think about the power of this formula. When applied it results in true accountability for each other’s actions. Not just leader to employee, but peer to peer, employee to leader across the board. Creating a set of common values for your organization can provide you with this formula for success.

Values define your culture, core beliefs and guide the very way you operate your business on a day to day basis. Other items in your business will change with time such as goals, strategies and tasks, but once defined, values are permanent and remain unchanged.

There are five steps to determining your values and achieving sustainable results: Define, Teach, Live, Measure, Reward.

In the Define phase you set the tone for the rest of the values process by involving everyone in the organization. This group consensus guarantees you will have optimal results when living out your values.

A proven exercise for creating values is to start with a pre-determined list of 20-30 values approved by your leadership team. The group then works to narrow the list down to 5 to 10 that mean the most to your unique business. To complete the exercise, everyone must agree on these core set of values and pledge to hold each other accountable.

Once the values are set it is important to continue to teach them to the organization. This involves making sure everyone knows the values and understands them. It is helpful to create a descriptive sentence about what each value word means to your organization. For example, if your value is Customer Service your descriptive statement might be, “Wowing our customers with each and every interaction.” You can also add some pizzazz to your value statements. Think creatively about each value and come up with terms that are fun, memorable and catchy, such as Customer Wow!

Living the values means that we all have to “walk the talk.” It is one thing to write the words and another to Live by the words. Values set the path for our actions and choices that we make every day.

It is important for employees at all levels of the organization to live the values. A great way to ensure this is to post them up around the work spaces. Feel free to make it fun and express the values in unique and eye-catching ways.

Keep a pulse on your values. How are we performing against our set of core values? Are we living them out daily? If values drive your culture and business performance then your employees should be measured by them. Develop performance review measures that tie directly into your values as an organization. Employees can be evaluated on teamwork, customer service, professionalism, etc.

Another way to work in discussion of your values is to add them to a weekly team agenda. If your company’s core value is Teamwork, add an agenda item to your team meeting where employees can share ways they or a co-worker exhibited exceptional teamwork that week.

Reward your employees based on living out the values. If you are measuring compliance with values it is easy to reward individuals or teams. The reward to the organization is that everyone is working under one common set of beliefs that move the company forward in the direction that is desired. Think of the power behind that.

Believe in your organization’s values, Act out the values in your daily business life and the Results you desire can be achieved. Results = Belief + Action!

Robyn Marcotte is the founder of Aha! Leadership, which specializes in helping small to medium size businesses create and cultivate high performing company cultures that deliver results. She can be reached at [email protected].