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March 2017 Newsletter
In This Issue
  • Thanks for Joining Us!
  • How to Use Your Company Values to Recruit, Train, and Develop Staff
  • Do Your Organizational Values Walk the Talk?
  • Quick Reference: Ten Ingredients That Make Values Work
  • "Start With Why" by Simon Senek
  • Quick Reference: Recruiting Employees With Aligned Values
  • Coach’s Corner: "Career Values: Why We Work" 
March 2017
Volume 4, Number 3

Thanks for Joining Us!

March is here... dare we believe spring is just around the corner? Longer evenings and a tantalizing glimpse of warmer temperatures can turn us all into believers.

This month we are focusing on values and living them within a work environment. As Susan Heathfield writes, "Your values are made up of everything that has happened to you in your life... and effective people recognize these environmental influences and identify and develop a clear, concise, and meaningful set of values/beliefs, and priorities. Once defined, values have an impact on every aspect of your life."

Values — both organizational and personal — are a critical touchstone. It is therefore vital that both align within a working environment to ensure success and satisfaction on all levels.

Keep reading for more learning!

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.

6. Remember

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.
"In short, it’s not the words that make a difference; it’s the conversation. Frequent discussion about organizational values can be engaging and empowering. The organization becomes a community united by shared purpose, which reinforces teamwork and collaboration. People can be more readily relied on to do the right thing, and to guide their colleagues to do the same, once they buy into and internalize core principles. People can become more aware of the drivers and impact of their behavior. consideration of core values and purpose can unlock creative potential."
Source: Ten Essentials for Getting Value from Values,
Elizabeth Moss Kanter
Do Your Organizational Values Walk the Talk?

1. Individual differences are nurtured. Do your employees feel like they can be the same person at work and at home?

2. Information is not suppressed or spun.  Is your company culture transparent no matter how bad the news, or in what direction it’s flowing?Are your lines of communication ALWAYS open?

3. The company adds value to its employees. Are your new employees mentored and coached? Can employees constantly recalibrate their goals take on new projects, experiences or courses to help them reach the next level?

4. The organization stands for something meaningful
Are your employees  proud to tell other people where they work?

5. The work itself is intrinsically rewarding. Do your employees' jobs challenge them, evoke passion, and make them feel like they’re working for a common cause?

6. There are no needless rules. Does your company avoid micromanaging? Do your employees feel trusted to do their jobs? When they do exist, do the rules apply equally to everyone?

7. Do you publicize your organizational core values?
Can employees and managers alike consistently check back in to remind themselves of the “why” and the “how” behind their everyday routine?



10 Career Values - Why we work, what motivate us
Explore 10 career values with Online Talent Manager (OTM) and get a better understanding of what you need to look for in your career.


Quick Reference: Ten Ingredients That Make Values Work

1. Values are a priority for leaders, invoked often in their messages and on the agenda for management discussions.

2. The entire work force can enter the conversation; employees are invited to discuss or interpret values and principles in conjunction with their peers, who help ensure alignment.

3. Principles are made explicit, transmitted in writing in many channels, and reviewed regularly to make sure people understand and remember them.

4. Statements about values and principles invoke a higher purpose, a purpose beyond current tasks that indicates service to society. This purpose can become part of the company’s brand and a source of competitive differentiation.

5. The words become a basis for on-going dialogue that guides debate when there is controversy or initial disagreement. Decisions are supported by reference to particular values or principles.

6. Principles guide choices, in terms of business opportunities to pursue or reject, or in terms of investments with a longer time horizon that might seem uneconomic today.

7. As they become internalized by employees, values and principles can substitute for more impersonal or coercive rules. They can serve as a control system against violations, excesses, or veering off course.

8. Actions reflecting values and principles — especially difficult choices — become the basis for iconic stories that are easy to remember and retell, reinforcing to employees and the world what the company stands for.

9 Values are aspirational, signaling long-term intentions that guide thinking about the future.

10. Principles, purpose, and values are discussed with suppliers, distributors, and other business partners, to promote consistent high standards everywhere,

Source: Ten Essentials for Getting Value from Values,
Elizabeth Moss Kanter
Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound
Start With Why,
Simon Sinek
Quick Reference: Recruiting Employees with Aligned Values

At the interview stage, explore value alignment by having structured questions around each of your organizational values. Don't just ask people if they agree with them — they'll just tell you what they think you want to hear! Instead, ask what the values mean to them personally and how they demonstrate them in their own lives.

For example, if your values are Respect, Innovation and Accountability, use questions such as:

"How do you show you respect people in your day to day life?"

"Give me an example of when you were particularly innovative in your approach."

"Tell me about what accountability means to you. How have you demonstrated accountability in your life?" 

As a result, you will recruit people who will be far more motivated and committed to the success of the organization and its goals.You will also recruit employees who can live their own values and not feel they have to compromise.

About Wendy Ellen Inc.
Wendy Ellen Inc. specializes in providing human resource and benefits management skills to small to mid-sized companies on an as-needed basis. From recruitment, Human Resource policy development and legislative compliance, employee retention and engagement, individual advisor/coaching, succession planning to employee development and performance, Wendy Ellen Inc. will help you protect your most valuable resource, your people.
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