7 STEPS TO CREATE YOUR BUSINESS CORE VALUES

Core valueYour values are the behaviors you expect from your people. Values are clear statements of how you expect people in your company to act. Furthermore they must:

  • Provide a moral compass for your people. They can help your staff decide on the right course of action, regardless of the challenge they face.
  • Establish a basis for consistent decision-making by everyone.
  • When people share the same Core Values, they tend to make decisions using the same principles.
  • Give you some guides for hiring, rewarding, disciplining, and firing.

Think about companies with strong Core Values and cultures like Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Zappos, or Enterprise Rent-a-Car. People often say that “a certain kind of person” does well there. Those are the people whose personal values match the company’s Core Values.

Keep Core Values Simple

Here are some questions we want you to answer and think about:

  • Who in your company is a living example of “the right behavioral standards”?
  • What is your company known for?
  • What behaviors are so important that you’ll fire anyone who doesn’t consistently demonstrate them?

Southwest Airlines Defines Core Values

One key to Southwest’s success is its culture, “the way we do things around here.” One of Southwest’s most powerful cultural values is related to the concept of “fun.”

Southwest is clear about its values, and it hires people who have the same values and will fit into the culture.  Southwest’s number-one hiring criterion, the one they look for first, is a sense of humor. Southwest has designed a hiring process that helps them make smart decisions about whether a candidate has a sense of humor.

  • Your Core Values provide a moral compass for your people. They can help people decide on the right course, regardless of the challenge they face.
  • Your Core Values give you a basis for consistent decision-making by everyone.
  • When people share the same Core Values, they tend to make decisions in the same way.

Get started NOW!

Step 1: If you had to rebuild your company from scratch, name the 5 people you’d hire first because they behave the way you expect your people to behave. Forget functional skills and roles for a moment and identify people who act the way you want everyone to act, regardless of role:

Step 2: Use 3-5 word statements to describe the behaviors that are common to all of these 5 people.

Step 3: What behaviors has your company always been known for, or stood for no matter what the circumstances?

Step 4: Using 3-5 word prescriptive statements, list the top 5 behaviors you want demonstrated by everyone in your company? State very clearly the type of behaviors you expect from all your people, regardless of role.

Step 5: Core Values are “musts” not “nice to haves”.  Do each of your chosen Core Values pass these 3 tests? If not, they are NOT Core and should be eliminated from your list.

  1. Would you actively confront a colleague if he or she were not demonstrating this behavior?
  2. Would you spend money (or leave on the table) to uphold and demonstrate this value to your team?
  3. Would you fire someone if they could not demonstrate this value consistently, even if they were an excellent performer otherwise

Step 6: Where will you display your Core Values so they are clearly visible to your people every day?

  • Keep visible at all times
  • Test people – everyone should know them by heart
  • Reference them when making management decisions
  • Share Core Value stories at weekly team meetings, where everyone must share a story of where someone in the team lived one of the Core Values
  • Awards for the people who best exemplify your Core Values every month

Step 7: How will you incorporate your Core Values into your recruitment process and performance appraisal process?

MANAGER MEETINGS & MOTIVATION

performAre employees’ needs being met by one-on-one time with their managers? The answer is, “No,” according to a survey conducted by Training Magazine and The Ken Blanchard Companies.

Employees want more meetings with their boss, according to a survey conducted by Training magazine and The Ken Blanchard Companies. More than 700 Training magazine subscribers were polled to learn about their experiences having one-on-one meetings with their managers—something that can play a big part in their job satisfaction, performance, engagement, and motivation. Readers were asked what they wanted out of their meetings and how that compared to what was really happening. This research gives an important new look into what is being discussed and how that is meeting—or not meeting—the needs of today’s workers.

MOTIVATION

Are employees’ needs being met by one-on-one time with their managers? The answer is, “No,” according to a survey conducted by Training magazine.

HOW OFTEN?

One of the first questions respondents were asked was how often they currently meet with their direct manager versus how often they wished they were meeting with him or her. Participants could choose answers ranging from “rarely or never” on the low side to “more than once a week” on the high side.

  • Some 89 percent of people want to meet with their manager on at least a monthly basis, with 44 percent of the people polled wanting to meet at least once per week.
  • Only 73 percent of people actually meet at least once a month. Only 34 percent of people actually meet at least once per week.
  • A closer look at responses by gender reveals one sex prefers more frequent check-ins to talk: men! Some 89 percent of women want to meet at least monthly and 40 percent at least weekly. Some 92 percent of men want to meet at least monthly and 52 percent at least weekly.

AGENDA

The survey also looked at some of the details regarding length of time for the meeting and who respondents felt should be responsible for setting the agenda.

  • Some 65 percent of people want to meet for 30 minutes to 60 minutes when they get together with their manager.
  • Some 69 percent of people believe that they should set the agenda, not their boss.

TOPICS

Next, the survey looked at what people want to talk about during their one-on-ones versus what they actually do talk about. Several common topics usually discussed by managers and direct reports were identified: goal setting, goal review, performance feedback, problem-solving, soliciting support, problems with colleagues, and personal issues.

  • Some 70 percent of people want to have goal-setting conversations often or all the time, but only 36 percent actually do. And 28 percent say they rarely or never discuss future goals and tasks.
  • Some 73 percent of people want to have goal review conversations often or all the time, but only 47 percent actually do. And 26 percent say they rarely or never discuss current goals and tasks.

DESIRED VERSUS ACTUAL

  • Some 64 percent want to discuss problem-solving often or all the time, while 50 percent actually do. And 19 percent say they rarely or never do.
  • Some 63 percent would like to solicit support often or all the time from their boss on projects, but only 49 percent experience it. And 18 percent say they rarely or never have soliciting support conversations.
  • Only 5 percent of people want to discuss personal issues often or all the time, and only 5 percent actually do. Some 68 percent don’t desire to discuss personal issues, and 76 percent don’t do so.

FOR LEADERS

One-on-ones are an important way leaders can demonstrate they care about employees. Spending time is a clear indication that an employee’s work is important, and that he or she is a valued member of the team. It’s also a way for manager to make themselves available to help direct reports as needed.

  • 89 percent of respondents identified that they would prefer to meet with their direct supervisor on at least a monthly basis and 44 percent of the people polled indicated that they wanted to meet at least once per week.

CONCLUSION

Managers must make more time for their Team.

A LEADER IS . . .

leadersLeaders vary by occupation, personality, and style. There’s no specific formula specifying exactly how to lead well. Still, great leaders throughout history share a common set of characteristics. In an article by John Maxwell, we would like to fill in the picture of a leader for you—one quality at a time. The four features listed certainly do not represent a comprehensive list. However, if a leader lacks any one of them, then he or she will be limited in an important respect.

1) Character

Character gives rise to discipline and responsibility. It’s the inward character that enables a person to stand firm. Character is not inherited, nor can it be purchased. It cannot be built instantly, but instead requires years of construction.

Character shows itself in a person’s consistency. Jerry West, former Los Angeles Laker and member of the NBA’s Hall of Fame, once remarked, “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” Character gives you the resolve to do what’s important, even when it’s not convenient.

In addition, character brings respect. When you don’t have character within, you won’t have respect without. J.R. Miller once wrote: “The only thing that walks back from the tomb with the mourners and refuses to be buried, is the character of a man…What a man is, survives him. It can never be buried.”

2) Perspective

Perspective flows from a leader’s mind and relates to their vision for the future. Perspective brings insight. It allows a leader to see sooner, and to see farther, than others.

What you think depends on where you sit, and where you sit determines what you see. Aware of this fact, leaders realize that they must constantly put themselves in the place of others. A leader can only cast vision insofar as they can understand and relate to another person’s perspective. Great leaders factor in a person’s background, personal values, and stage of life when they communicate. They seek to connect before attempting to convince.

3) Courage

Leadership requires courage—the courage to risk, to reach, to put one’s self on the line. The word courage itself comes from the French word coeur, which means heart. Thus, leaders must have the heart for the task of working with and engaging others. The leader’s heart somehow speaks to the hearts of those around her or him, inspiring and touching them.

Courage is contagious. As Billy Graham says, “When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Courage is also the power to let go of the familiar. The courageous person follows the motto: “If at first you do succeed, try something harder!” Finally, courage is belief that has been put into action. As Dr. Ashley Montagu wrote, “The only measure of what you believe is what you do. If you want to know what people believe, don’t read what they write, don’t ask what they believe, just observe what they do.”

4) Favor

Favor may be the most mysterious of the four traits, but at its root, favor simply means influence. In particular, favor implies the sort of special relationship that motivates extra effort. For example, if someone “does a favor,” they go beyond what is normally expected. Leaders with favor are treated by others as favorites, that is, they are particularly well-liked, and even loved, by those they lead. Favor comes from skill, especially the skill of connecting with people (charisma).

Favor also results from finding your calling in life. Awareness of one’s calling comes from the following sources.

• Knowledge: I’ve always known that this activity is something I enjoy.

• Focus: I can do nothing else; this is always on my mind.

• Passion: I want to do this; nothing else holds as much interest for me.

• Personhood: This is part of who I am.

• Giftedness: This is something at which I excel.

• Blessing: I have experienced providential help in this activity.

Conclusion

Healthy, effective leadership brings together character, perspective, courage, and favor. Indeed, an absence of any of these qualities limits a person’s influence. Without character, a leader is unstable—prone to moral failure. Without perspective, a leader has no sense of direction. Without courage, a leader cowers at the sight of a big challenge. And without favor, a leader cannot persuade others to take action. Which of the four elements do you have in greatest supply? How has it benefited you?