Aligning Behaviors with Corporate Core Values

Aligning Behaviors with Corporate Core Values

Once you’ve defined your corporate core values, you can reinforce them by incorporating them into your performance appraisals and organizational assessments. In order to do that, you need to identify the specific behaviors associated with each core value. For example, “being flexible and adapting to changes in customers’ needs” might be a core behavior associated with customer service.

This tool shows how to articulate a set of behaviors that reinforce the core values. Start by listing your core values and the related performance measures. Next brainstorm the associated behaviors. Talk about which behaviors are most important in supporting the core values. Each core value should have 10-15 related behaviors (see example below).

Once you’ve got a list, share it with other people in the organization and solicit their feedback. After several iterations, you should have a solid list. Make sure senior management has had a chance to review and refine the list before proceeding further.

Armed with your list of core behaviors, you can incorporate them into your performance appraisals and organizational assessments. An example of such an assessment is included below. Every six months this architectural firm surveys all its employees. After the results are compiled, they ask employees to work in teams and brainstorm ways to improve. The result is an organization whose behaviors are well aligned around its core values.

After each statement write either “Agree or Disagree” – Purchase this tool to see all the statements

Core Value: Design and Execution

1. We communicate our client’s expectations for every project.
2. We adhere to our project management process.
3. Every project is reviewed by a senior manager for “executability” and “creative response.”

Core Value: Quality Work Environment

22. We provide standards for each individual’s job performance.
23. We provide regular performance reviews once a year (twice if requested).
24. We ensure that everyone has individual development plans.

Core Value: Ethical Conduct

37. We are fair to one another.
38. We respect one another.
39. We are honest with each other.

Note: Make sure people’s responses are treated with confidentiality when completing this kind of survey. Don’t worry about who said what. Your focus should be on discovering the overall strengths and weaknesses of the firm.

You can use a similar approach to create a performance appraisal. Simply change the word “we” to “I” – and you have an appraisal that’s well-integrated with your core values. In the same way, you can generate a list of questions to use in interviewing job candidates. After verifying their technical expertise, ask them to recount examples of how they demonstrated these behaviors in the past. You’ll quickly get an idea of how well they’ll fit into your culture.

LRI’s consulting is designed to achieve real, meaningful change for our clients.

Eric Douglas

Eric Douglas is the senior partner and founder of Leading Resources Inc., a consulting firm that focuses on developing high-performing organizations. For more than 20 years, Eric has successfully helped a wide array of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporations achieve breakthroughs in performance. His new book The Leadership Equation helps leaders achieve strategic clarity, manage change effectively, and build a leadership culture.

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