This is one of those stories where I wish I had a $1.00 for every time that I could trace the root cause of an employee, customer or supplier issue back to one’s failure to base their decision and/or behavior on the corporate values that supposedly everyone in the company is to adhere.
I recently spoke to an executive who was frustrated with the performance and pettiness actions of several of his employees. It wasn’t the first time that we had discussed this issue. The executive had discussed this situation with the employees before and would see things markedly improve for several weeks only to soon thereafter return to their sub par performance and improper behavior. As we talked through the circumstances it was apparent that the individuals under discussion did not truly believe in the stated company values.
Company values speak to the personality and character of our organization. It has to do with what type of people we want to be and work with and what type of organization we want to spend our lives in.
I counsel my clients to never share the company’s values in the first couple of interviews. Instead they need to compile a list of questions that will allow them to clearly assess the candidate’s responses and determine whether there is evidence that the candidate adheres to their company values.
Every organization has values whether you define them or not. The question is whether you are going to allow the character of your organization to develop accidentally or intentionally. Are your values clearly stated? Are they enduring? Are your company’s decisions moored to your values or are they adrift, tossing to and fro in the waves of the day?
By: Terry L. Massey
Terry is a Partner and Co-founder of AmeriStride, a business growth, leadership development and management consulting firm. He serves as Chapter President of Truth@Work Chattanooga, a Christian business leader ministry focused on helping business leaders build organizations on biblical principles. Terry assists business owners and executives in building organizations that learn, lead and last. To learn more about Terry please visit www.terrylmassey.com or email him at terry.massey@AmeriStride.com.