by | Apr 9, 2019

Once you introduce values, how do you reinforce them? To bring those company values to life, focus on showing concrete examples of employees demonstrating those values. Once people see how their peers use the values at work, they go from abstract principles to useful guides. Here are five ways to make values part of the culture — all of which go beyond that poster in the break room.

1. Give a day off to pursue one of the values

If one of your values is creativity, for instance, give employees a paid day off to do something creative. That might be a day-long sabbatical earned after so many years of employment, or the grand prize in an annual recognition program.

2. Link the values to service anniversaries

Just as wedding anniversaries are marked by different gifts (paper for the first year, silver for the 25th, gold for the 50th), you can assign a value to each of your major milestones in service anniversaries. For one client, we developed a program of Amazon gift cards accompanied by a note from the CEO, suggesting for example that they use their five-year gift card award for something that speaks to their Passion, which is one of their values. Another milestone year is marked by their value of Curiosity, and so on.

3. Publish employee spotlights on the intranet or in publications

There’s nothing like telling a story to help engage and inspire. Feature short articles about employees throughout your organization who have demonstrated one of the values in their work.

4. Create a recognition program based on the values

For example, if you have four values, you might have four awards each quarter. If you’re in the early stages of imbedding the values in your culture, you might have managers nominate people on their teams. When the values are more firmly established, a peer-to-peer nomination program can work well.

5. Make the values part of your performance review

One of the most powerful ways to bring the values to life is to make demonstrating those values part of employees’ reviews. That makes it clear that the company is serious about using the values to guide employees’ day-to-day actions and decisions. (IABC members might appreciate this take on values in companies charged with unethical behavior.)

Interested in doing more to bring your values to life? Tribe can help. If you want to make sure the values you introduce are authentic to your culture, try these three tips.

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