How do you create a culture in your company where people enjoy the work they do and look forward to the week ahead? On this Looking Forward to Monday Minute we are going to explore Core Values, guiding principles that dictate behavior and help people in your company understand right vs. wrong.
To begin, all people and organizations have core values. Just because they aren’t stated or posted on a plaque in the lobby doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For individuals, show me your checkbook, credit card receipts, and calendar and I can determine your core values. For businesses, show me your expenses, show me the agenda of your management meeting, and let me walk through your office. I can then tell you your businesses’ core values.
When articulated, stated, and reinforced through discussion, recognition, and education, Core Values can drive business performance. Core Values are a key ingredient in creating a Looking Forward to Monday business culture that attracts and retains A-players.
At Advantage, I personally crafted our Core Values in 2009. I learned four years after starting the business that these were important so I got right to it! Our Core Values were Teamwork, Integrity, Collaboration, Kaizen, and Entrepreneurialism. They never stuck. They were a big, fat, failure. My first mistake was creating Core Values in a vacuum, solo, picking words I felt were important. My second mistake was picking common words (i.e. attributes) every company would desire. Name me one professional business that explicitly does not want people with integrity?!?!
In 2012 I hit “reset.” I scheduled a company-wide meeting to discuss the importance of Core Values. I asked our team what unstated Core Values we were already living and what Core Values they thought were important for our company to embrace and live by in the future. This process took 90 days and included 4 interactive meetings with discussion and refinement along the way. It was so important to me that I asked an outside facilitator to lead the discussion in my place. I wanted these to be “our Core Values” not “Adam’s Core Values.” The process resulted in 5 Core Value statements, not individual words. Each short statement includes a definition to describe what living that Core Value looks, sounds, and feels like.
Since 2012, we’ve talked about these 5 Core Values consistently. You can find them proudly displayed in our office, in our Priority Planners, on our wallet cards, and website. You will also find them tied to our Caught in the Act of Greatness, team member Scorecards, and team member performance evaluations.
Core Values state the BEHAVIORS you expect from your team. A team of highly skilled professionals demonstrating the right behaviors becomes an unstoppable force in business performance and creating a Looking Forward to Monday culture.
If you want to learn how to create a Looking Forward to Monday culture in your business, I’ve created a Free 2.5 Hour Video Seminar To Teach You How To Do It Too! Get Instant Access Now!