Many workplaces will have collateral pertaining to values, vision and mission. Glossy bound strategic plans, handouts and sound bites are a part of the press pack and yet incongruence between workplace values and behaviours still exists. Why is that? Values statements such as: “We value honesty, integrity and respect” are obliterated when people steal, cheat and bully. And sadly even though this negative behaviour isn’t perpetuated by the majority, it affects all of us. Worse still, if not addressed in a transparent manner, it diminishes and devalues staff.
Could you imagine what would happen if instead of trying to keep secrets in difficult times, management and staff were instead distilled information from a values breach perspective? Values based communications aren’t difficult in and of themselves. We inherently know what our values are don’t we?
What are your values?
Don’t be scared to admit you don’t know what you values are. I sincerely had no idea how to articulate my values when first asked as I had never stopped to consciously think about them. And it seems I’m not on my own – in actual fact, many people don’t know explicitly what their values are because they intuitively live them.
Of course when asked the right questions and supported to unpack values, what we discover is an untapped topic. What’s confronting is when people don’t understand how to identify their values they struggle to articulate why they have been so affronted or offended when there’s been a values breach. By a values breach I mean when a colleague behaves in a manner that disrespects our own values and those of the workplace.
What an incredible opportunity this provides for workplaces to get better at unpacking personal and professional values. One of the most important questions I encourage teams to answer and ask each other is “what do you need to feel more valued?” Imagine asking staff to respond to this question! By asking your staff to think about what they need to feel more valued you open up a whole new space to have deeper dialogue and grow more shared understanding. Which creates more harmony and drives greater productivity. So here’s my three top questions I want you to start asking staff either in a survey or face to face:
What are your values?
How do they align with our workplace values?
What do you need to feel more valued at work?
Once they’ve responded, LISTEN and discuss their contributions in a team dynamic. Ask what actions they need to take place based on this conversation.
Imagine if values based questions were included in regular Performance Reviews/Plans. By genuinely enquiring about values alignment and congruence and taking the appropriate actions, managers will get critical information that will inevitably drive staff to perform better because they feel more valued. Just make sure you clearly articulate to your staff what you need as their leader to feel more valued too. And don’t just go through this process once. Ask staff how often they think this needs to be reviewed and set this on rinse and repeat.
If you would like Bronwyn Clee to come and support you and your team hit the big pink button on the right and make contact now!
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