How to Use Your Company Values to Recruit, Train, and Develop Staff
Company values articulate those things that an organization genuinely believes in. Used effectively, they are like a cultural glue to ‘connect’ the team and support a social community based on shared goals. The most committed employees work in organizations where the values are really 'lived.' Does your organization stand up to that test? Here are six ways to align your values with your HR practices.
1. Recruit people with compatible personal values
Attract like-minded people by being upfront about your values from the start so people can see what you believe in and whether these values are aligned with their own. Include them in your recruitment material, on application forms, websites, etc.
2. Communicate the values day-to-day
It can be easy for people to forget what your company values are if they are never mentioned! Communicate them actively by talking about them in meetings, training events, one-on-ones, etc. Discuss what the values mean in practice: what they look like, sound like, even feel like. Relate them to specific activities, such as customer service, team work etc.
3. Use values to manage performance
Align your performance management processes with your values. When reviewing and appraising staff, assess performance against the values: to what extent have people demonstrated, shared and improved them? Have performance standards and measures that clearly define what 'good' looks like in each area.
4. Train people to develop the values
Provide development opportunities for your company values in the same way as you enable people to develop their skills and knowledge. Activities such as coaching, mentoring, facilitated discussions, work shadowing, writing Reflective Learning Statements etc. are all ways in which people can develop more of an understanding and a commitment to demonstrating values in their job role.
5. Recognize and reward successes
Reinforce values by acknowledging positive behaviours in some way. For example, rewarding great examples of putting values into practice, or ways that people have helped develop the values in others (such as sharing ways to demonstrate them, or coming up with new ways to communicate them) gives people even more of an incentive to live them day-to-day.
Finally, remember that it's no good if people are able to recite a list of values or value statements if they can't actually describe what these mean to them or to the way they work. So don't worry if people tend to forget the actual words or phrases you use for your values... the important thing is that they understand the principles behind them and how they can exhibit them on a daily basis.