Defining your company’s corporate values can seem like a daunting task given it’s importance in setting your corporate culture. After all, you culture determines how your employees will achieve all those lofty goals you made. While it isn’t an exercise to be taken lightly, it doesn’t need to be weighed down in process. Follow these 3 steps to uncover your values while fully engaging your team.
Ask them to write down their responses and then report them aloud to the team. Be sure to emphasize there are no right or wrong answers. This exercise provides a wonderful opportunity to re-ground everyone in your mission and vision while introducing differing perspectives on why your company and its employees are essential.
There should be a lot of laughter (and maybe a few tears) at this point given the emotions this tends to draw out. If you don’t see any emotions, worry.As a leader, you want your employees to be as emotionally connected with the company as you are. After all, it’s their company too and it is through them that you will be successful.
From here you can craft your final list based on which words dominated. And when you’re ready to share, don’t just put the words up. Create some context around your values and make them your own. As an example, here is what Fierce did with our corporate value of “authentic”.
Be Real. There is no “faking it” at Fierce. We present ourselves, our capabilities, and our knowledge for exactly what it is and we don’t pretend to be anything we are not. We are transparent with each other and our clients and embrace what makes each of us unique.
For a great example of a company who has fully embodied and personalized their values, look no further than Zappos. You can tell they had fun during their process. And so should you!