Often I find myself pondering various professional topics I’d like to write about and question whether it’s just the cathartic experience I am seeking or whether there’s real dialogue to create on the subject. But so many conversations have been sparked recently around values – it’s a theme that’s emerging and worthy of sharing and discussing more widely.
When I think about any relationships in my life that have stood the test of time – especially the personal ones – it’s because at the end of the day I click most with people who value what I value in friendship. I value the generosity of time, simple moments not just the BIG ones, trust, mutual respect, and above all else I value loyalty. These values aren’t reserved for friends and family, I value these things professionally too.
I spent over 8 years in business with a wonderful woman and I had a big moment a few weeks ago when I realized that our success – individually and as a company – was in part because we had strong-shared values. We believed first and foremost that people were the most important part of any organization – in our own and in our clients organizations. Not everyone believes that, but we did. We made decisions that didn’t distract from that value, unfailingly. I had to send her a text and say “Hey, I just want you to know that we did amazing things together” but at the root was the values we shared and that we held onto so tightly.
Here’s what I recognize about value driven organizations:
They put people first
They pulse the organization to gauge employee engagement and morale
They provide the best benefits package they can provide
They communicate – top to bottom and side-to-side
They are transparent about their goals and how to reach them
They talk about what the organization values and have visual reminders
They measure individual performance against those values
They have decision-making processes supported by those values
They embody behaviors and actions that exemplify their values
When you work somewhere or with people who don’t value what you value, your passion fades, your focus skews, and your loyalty wanders. In the end you aren’t giving everything you’ve got to a boss or an employer who isn’t giving everything they’ve got to you. Who wins in that situation? No one.
Is your company values-driven? Have you observed any values-driven companies in action?