From gut instinct and customer sentiment to data and KPIs, many variables are weighed in the decision-making process at any company. Sometimes, it’s easy to become so focused on the numbers and metrics that you lose sight of your core values, which could do damage to your business in the long run.
How can you ensure that all internal decisions made at your company are values-based? To gain more perspective on this issue and understand how to make sure your core company values aren’t forgotten about when decisions are being made, check out this expert guidance from ten Forbes Coaches Council members.
1. Integrate Core Values Into Your Systems
Get your values off the walls and walk them through the halls. Core values are meaningless unless they are connected to behaviors that model those values. Integrate the values into your systems, policies and practices, then train people to apply the values when making operational decisions. Doing so will allow you to replicate values-based success. – Sheri Nasim, Center for Executive Excellence
2. Develop An Internal Value Alignment Model
The first step is to develop an internal value alignment model that is ingrained into the company. Then, utilize qualitative and quantitative methods for decision making according to the model. The model needs to link what you value with who you are, why you operate and how you grow. It can be as simple as a cost-of-delay model or as complex as strategy simulation to ensure decisions are value-based. – Daniel Hooman, Agile Partners
3. Understand What Your Customer Values
The “value” should be clearly stated and understood. Value is what the customer says it is, so the leaders have to know who their customers are and what is important to them. What are the deal-breakers for customers? This information needs to be funneled into the strategic objectives and inform the numbers. – Cynthia Howard, Work Smart Coaching and Consulting
Three Facets Of Customer Experience You’re Overlooking
4. Assign Leadership Team ‘Value Monitors’
Assign a leadership team “value monitor” for each value that your company adopts. At the end of each leadership team meeting agenda, place a bullet to check in with your monitors before wrapping the meeting. This is similar to Pat Lencioni’s concept of assigning a “conflict miner,” and it is similarly effective. – Natasha Ganem, Lion Leadership
5. Infuse Your Values Into Customer Experience Efforts
A company’s values should be baked into any type of customer experience effort. When using data, metrics and survey information to make decisions, the organizations’ values should already be present. Values impact which questions you ask customers, how questions are worded, how the metrics are utilized and more. Values are not the afterthought but the precursor. Values educate the entire process. – Brad Federman, PerformancePoint LLC
6. Truly Embrace A Values-Based Mindset
To make internal decisions truly values-based, the culture and values have to be integrated parts of what the organization is all about. It cannot be an HR initiative. The business leaders need to truly embrace the values-based mindset by appreciating the values and how they contribute to the organization’s success. Without doing this, we fail, sarcasm prevails and recovery becomes impossible. – Edyta Pacuk, MarchFifteen Consulting Inc.
7. Make Sure Your Values Actually Drive Success
I’d start by making sure your values actually drive success because managers will always make decisions with success in mind and ignore values that seem unrelated. If they are success drivers, then require managers to report on that connection in the after-action review. Make decision-making rationales officially explicit. That’s a simple process change. – Jamie Notter, PROPEL
8. Stay Committed To Your Business Ethics At Every Stage
Organizations must be committed to their business ethics at every stage. Let the leaders communicate why they are making the decisions, especially the big ones. I once had a client who released one of their highest-paying customers because that customer wanted them to compromise their principles. It cost them money in the short term, but won them long-term respect internally and eventually externally. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
9. Use Your Values As Your Filter
Use your values as your filter. When a key decision is being made, do not only look at KPIs and feedback, but also review your personal and company values, asking yourself if the decision will honor those values. If it doesn’t, you and your team will need to decide whether the value is real or aspirational and whether you are okay with letting it go or should make a different decision. – Billy Williams, Archegos
10. Embed Values In Every Part Of The Culture
Company values need to be embedded in every part of the culture to ensure that decision making is aligned with them. This begins with candidate selection and onboarding and extends across performance management processes, training and career development practices. It’s important that employees at every level not only understand company values, but also know how to apply them in their work. – Amy Phillip, Career Certain