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Company values & behaviours


I am working with a marketing company and they are looking for me to help them develop company values and behaviours. They are keen for me to "just tell them" and (obviously) I am keen for all to buy into them. Any ideas, suggestions or exercises would be most gratefully received.

laura turner

4 Responses

  1. 2 values
    Hi Laura,
    This might be a bit “off the wall” but I recently read an article about values and after some consideration came to the conclusion there are only two-“Supporting stakeholder interest” and “being professional”. I think the twenty page list of values that some organisations publish can be very confusing and inhibit buy in. Following on from defining values I think the key is for managers to identify how to apply the values in their departments. Others may not agree but it can help bring a fresh perspective.

  2. Oh dear…
    I hope you

    (a) are well paid and
    (b) didn’t tell them (your client) your real name!

    Why? I think this is probably doomed to failure!

    Imagine what value this client attaches to these ‘values’ you are going to give them, especially if they can’t even be bothered to do it themselves!

    Clearly (from where I am sat) there are values at play – those that are held dear by the workforce, and those that are held dear by (senior) management. I imagine there is quite a gulf between the two!

    Values are embedded in everything an organisation says, does, prints, makes, cocks-up, moans about, doesn’t do, doesn’t say, and how it does this (or not!).

    Just giving a client a list of values does nothing – unless it is integrated in to all of the above – and the only way that happens, and it takes time, is by management and the workforce behaving in certain ways.

    So the values I see in your client’s senior management team are “keep the employees quiet” and “outsource anything that doesn’t interest us personally”.

    I think you may find from some cursory research on google just how difficult changing values is, and how many big names have got this horribly wrong.

    On a positive note you may wish to spend a little time doing a 2 exercises – one with the workforce, finding out what values they’d like to see, and one with the senior management, finding out what they’d like to see. Do a search on google for “cultural values survey” or similar – you should find a survey tool to help you. I have one, but it is copyright from a third party and I can’t remember their name!

    Good luck!

  3. roll out with tools..
    If you mean values that will look something like a competency framework (which is a good way of introducing a common culture and creating behavioural change), then roll them out with a tool or proicess, such as appriasal or development centres. People then have a chance to get to know the values/behaviours, and how to use them, as well as their significance for their own and the business’ success.

  4. Values come from the top.
    Martin gave you good advice, Laura. The exercise of finding out what values interest the workforce and then those of interest to senior management is a good one only if senior management is prepared to satisfy the needs of the workforce.

    Is management desirous of unleashing the employees’ full potential of creativity, innovation, productivity, motivation and commitment?? If they want employees to use 100% of their brainpower on their work and not on complaining and “oh, poor me”, they must ask employees what they need to do the best job and then give it to them.

    This action will demonstrate the highest level of respect for and trust in employees and prove that management considers employees to be valuable team members. If carried out well, these actions will also demonstrate to employees how they shoud treat customers and each other and lead toward high standards of compassion, caring, quality of work, industriousness, forthrightness, responsiveness, humility, etc.

    If you want to know more about this process and how to instill high standards of 21 values in the workplace, visit my website

    Best regards, Ben
    Author “Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed”


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