Finding Your Values
Maybe you don’t have values at the moment, or you can’t remember them, or maybe you know them really well, but it’s been a while since you reviewed them. If that’s you, here are some steps for you to take to identify your values.
The first step is to think about what you want the culture of your organisation to be, because your values create the behaviours that will lead to that culture. Your culture is the combination of all the ways you do things in your organisations, including:
- symbols you have in the workplace
- behaviours that you display to others
- behaviours that you expect from others
All of these things roll up into culture. So the first question is, what’s the type of culture you want in your business? This is a great brainstorming exercise for your leadership team, or your entire team. Ask everyone, ‘what do we want our culture to look like?’ Next, you discuss behaviours. You ask, ‘if this is the culture we’re aiming for, what behaviours underpin that?’
‘if this is the culture we’re aiming for, what behaviours underpin that?’
Articulating Values & Culture
I like to use Brené Browns’ method of looking at values. Her method is more about personal values, but you can use it for your organisation as well. Brown has downloads on her website of value sheets with prompts for words that may articulate the values you want in the organisation.
For example, rather than having values like innovation, communication, transparency and integrity – all those words that we quite often see as values – why not use a different type of word that’s more meaningful to your organisation.
Once you’ve got some words together, you need to identify the behavioural statements that will underpin them. For example, in my organisation, Amplify HR, one of our values is ‘Being Human’. And we have a statement that explains what this means: ‘We are all human. Compassion, gratitude, respect and fun are all welcome.’
Rather than setting our values as ‘compassion’, or ‘gratitude’ or ‘respect’ or ‘fun’, we’re rolling that all up into one word, to say we value being human.