Defining Organizational Values
Values statements list the core principles and behaviors that guide and describe an organization’s culture. Identifying and outlining your organization’s values not only creates a benchmark for future decision-making and strategic planning, but unites your organization’s employees and leaders with a set of enduring, passionately-held beliefs.
Our Defining Organizational Values model allows you to:
1) Noodle the core beliefs and/or behaviors that guide your organization’s mission.
2) Combine to eliminate duplicate or similar ideas.
3) Vote: Validate all the ideas you agree support and guide your organization and its mission.
4) Rate the importance and likelihood of change for each belief and/or behavior.
The Defining Organizational Values model is intended for use by the organization’s upper management and leaders.
Value statements list the core principles and behaviors that guide your organization and its overall culture. They function as a moral compass for the organization and its employees, guiding decision-making and establishing a standard against which actions can be assessed (SHRM, 2018). These core values are internalized and unchanging; successful companies have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to our changing world (Collins & Porras, 1996).
Values should guide and inspire employees, and are designed for internal purposes; multiple companies may have some or all of the same core values (Collins & Porras, 1996). A list of values should hold true even if circumstances change and you would be penalized for holding these core beliefs; if they would not still be held by your organization, then they are not truly core values (Collins & Porras, 1996). Your values must be authentic, enduring, and stand the test of time. Having a list of passionately and deeply held beliefs will ensure that your organization stays true to itself throughout its strategic planning, and that all people involved are following the same path for action.
1) NOODLE: What are the core beliefs and/or behaviors that guide your organization’s mission?
2) COMBINE to eliminate duplicate or similar ideas.
3) VOTE: Validate all the ideas you agree support and guide your organization and its mission.
4) RATE the importance and likelihood of change for each belief and/or behavior.
How important is this to our organization and mission?
- 4 = Critical to our success
- 3 = Very important
- 2 = Moderately important
- 1 = Somewhat important
- 0 = Unimportant
How likely will this belief/behavior change in the future?
- 4 = Not at all likely- Will stand the test of time
- 3 = Most likely never change
- 2 = Likely never change
- 1 = Possibly never change
- 0 = Absolutely will change
5) Develop a list of values statements based on the highly-rated beliefs and behaviors, and gain stakeholder input and feedback to develop a finalized list of 3-5 core values.
- A list of organizational values to unite and guide your employees and leaders in their day-to-day actions
- Candid, thoughtful discussion about your organization’s deeply-held beliefs
- Alignment and buy-in on the enduring tenets of your organization and what it stands for
BENEFITS & IMPACT
This model will enable:
Quality – Guide and inspire your employees with a unifying list of core values and behaviors that your organization wholeheartedly believes in.
Efficiency – Save time and effort by identifying the enduring values held by your organization and using them as a standard for all decisions and strategic choices made in the future.
Engagement – Develop the list of values with a diverse group of stakeholders to ensure commitment, agreement, and buy-in with the results.
Agility – Attract the right candidates to your organization by creating a clear outline of enduring values that your organization and its employees adhere to and support.
Collins, J. & Porras, J. I. (1996). Building your company’s vision. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/1996/09/building-your-companys-vision
SHRM. (2018). Mission & vision statements: What is the difference between mission, vision and values statements? https://bit.ly/2b9m217