5 WAYS TO BRING THEM TO LIFE
One of the most important business reasons to communicate your company values is that you can’t train employees on every possible situation that might arise. They’re going to have to make decisions on their own from time to time, and values can help guide those decisions.
But just because you have values on the website or on posters in the break room doesn’t mean your employees understand how those values relate to their work. They need concrete, actionable examples of how those values play out on the job, and they need to know the company is serious about exercising those values day to day.
Here are five ways to help employees live and breathe the values:
1. EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHTS
In Tribe’s experience developing digital and print publications for clients, we’ve found employee spotlights to be one of the most highly read features. You can use these spotlight articles to tell the story of how employees have used one or more of the values in their individual jobs. This not only serves as recognition for those employees being featured. It also models that behavior for other employees and helps them understand what it looks like to use those values at work.
2. MANAGER DISCUSSIONS
If your company holds pre-shift meetings, that’s a great opportunity for values discussions. Zoom or Teams meetings also offer the chance for managers to talk values before getting down to business. Managers sometimes feel awkward about these conversations, or just don’t know where to start. Help them by providing toolkits, talking points or conversation guides — and encourage them to use examples of applying the values to real work situations their teams face.
3. LEADERSHIP COMMUNICATIONS
Encourage your executive leadership team to incorporate the values into their regular communications — when they’re meeting with the layers of leadership under them or with employees at large. The CEO might devote a few minutes to one of the values in each town hall. And when communicating major change initiatives, it can be helpful (and instructive) to reference ways in which one or more of the values impacted some of the decisions around the change.
4. RECOGNITION PROGRAMS
Recognition programs send a clear message about the behavior
that company leadership feels should be rewarded. By recognizing employees who have exemplified the values — by way of a formal recognition program with monthly awards or just in a departmental meeting, you let people know that living the values gets noticed. You also might consider a peer-to-peer recognition program, with employees nominating their colleagues and voting on finalists.
5. EMPLOYEE VIDEOS
One of the most powerful ways to bring the values to life is to have employees explain them in their own words. Interview employees and produce a values video — or many short videos on the values that you release on a monthly or quarterly basis. This is a great way to show how the values are put into practice in different sorts of roles and functions throughout your organization. It also gives great examples of how different people apply the values in their own individual ways.