Article © Prina Shah Consulting

Ways to Check if Your Organisational Values Are Still Relevant

Values are an integral part of an organisation’s culture. Or are they?

Your Values, ideally, should be the guiding principles in which everyone in your company behave, serve their customers and achieve your Vision. That no longer seems to be the case for many organisations…

The Issues:

Things have changed, you know why; I won’t labour the point of the pandemic, wars and general disruption in a VUCA world.

Yet many organisation’s values remain the same?

What does that say about the state of your organisation: Are you steadily moving along? Or are you falling behind?

The Solution:

Your values form a solid foundation in which you build and maintain your organisational culture.

Some ways you could consider reviewing whether your organisational Values are still relevant is to conduct a simple DIY audit using these questions as prompts:

1.Does each team and person generally understand your organisation’s Values, and do they see how it applies to the work they do?

2. Are your Values at the forefront of your recruitment process. Yes recruitment; recruiting to your Values allows you to recruit for the right culture fit. Then your Values should be reinforced in your induction to new staff.

3. Are you Leaders and your HR Team living the Values. (Simple.) Your Values are in the CEO, Leaders and HR Team’s spoken and written communications as well as being evident in the way they operate. This has a trickledown effect.

4. Are business decisions made based on your Values (as well as the usual factors such as cost, time, resourcing and being evidence informed etc.)

5. Are your Values in your Performance and Development Plans (PDP?) Are they still relevant to the work that people do at your organisation? Many organisations are moving towards the behavioural aspect of reviewing employees in how they meet their key performance indicators. We’ve all learnt from Enron’s tale of two cultures. If you haven’t heard about the Enron scandal, google the words “Enron Values.”

6. Do you have quarterly staff awards for those who go over and beyond your Values? Are you recognising your star performers against your Values, which in turn reinforces accountability expectations and rewards the right people?

7. Do you develop your leaders continually and link your Values to it? Whether it be via stretch targets on the role, in training sessions where you share your Values with the facilitator, or via coaching your Executive team?

8. Last, but definitely not least: If people don’t live true to your Values, are you doing something about it? Are there consequences of not living your Values? (If not, why should anyone else bother complying to your organisation’s Values? Consider the messaging you send when you don’t hold people accountable with the appropriate consequences. This is the area I have seen the most fraught which results in mixed messaging, cover ups and low morale in the long run.)

What now?

If you have reached a point where you feel it is time to review your Values to see if they are still valid, refer to a past article I wrote on why organisations fail to create their Values the right way — so you don’t make the same mistakes!

Contact me to enquire about how I can help you to co design your Values.

Prina (saying here’s to happy employees, formidable leaders and good company cultures!) Shah

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