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How important are values and what do yours say about you?

Organisational values are a vital foundation to all businesses – from the start-up to the well-established. They describe the guiding ethics and principles and provide an outline for decision making throughout an organisation.

Research suggests that organisations who demonstrate a clear set of values are more likely to be profitable and stand the test of time. This is evidenced by brands that are held in high regard, such as John Lewis Partnership or The National Trust.

However, on a day-to-day basis carefully developed, strong and clearly-articulated values will:

  • Set your organisation apart from its competitors
  • Support organisational growth by influencing strategic and operational decisions
  • Attract the right people (employees, customers, collaborators) and increase their loyalty, trust and cooperation
  • Inspire employees’ efforts
  • Influence workplace behaviour – helping build a proactive and productive culture
  • Help define people policies
  • Shape the selection, development and recognition of your people.

Where to start?

Perhaps you don’t yet have a defined set of values and are facing a blank page or you are in the process reviewing values that no longer feel relevant for your organisation. Wherever you are in your journey, we can guide you in the creation of a set of values that are unique, powerful and relevant. We can also help you launch and embed these values in a creative and engaging way – after all It’s not just about coming up with your values - it’s about living them, day-in and day-out.

Every organisation has a unique set of values and in turn behaviours that form them. So, although you could visit ‘companyvalues101.com’ and take a pick and mix approach to selecting values you think are representative of your organisation, if they don’t truly reflect your company’s culture and aspirations they are unlikely to resonate with your people, and in turn, they can actually demotivate employees – making them impossible to imbed, as well as alienating customers and undermining the credibility of leaders and managers.

Because every organisation has its own story when it comes to values, there is no one right way to uncover, articulate, and communicate them. However, for us the process typically involves:

  • In-depth discussions with leaders, managers and sometimes other stakeholders e.g. customers
  • Focus groups with employees
  • Surveys
  • Listening to their views about what your organisation stands for now, and what aspirations the organisation may have for the future
  • Preparing draft values, based on what your employees and stakeholders tell us
  • Working collaboratively with stakeholders to refine and finalise the values and develop an implementation strategy.

If you are currently thinking about your values, or potentially your lack of them… and would like to find out more about the impact that carefully developed and clearly-articulated values can have on your organisation and your people feel free to get in touch. Call us on 0117 300 3000, email us on hello@wearedna.co.uk or even better – arrange to pop in for a cuppa and a biscuit.

In categories: Business thoughts
Author: Sarah Robinson
Date published: 16.09.2019


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