Imagine spending tens of thousands of pounds creating and communicating a new set of company values and finding that despite the investment your people don't know or care what they are. Unthinkable right? We come across organisations every day that have done just that. They have missed the simple, most important step in bringing values to life.

In 2003 I worked for Npower. They are one of the UK’s big six energy companies, have 3.5 million customers and their parent company Innogy is a FTSE 1000 company.

Back then I was a young management development manager. I was passionate about my work and passionate about helping others to feel the same. So when I heard a new set of company values were being developed I was excited. Could they be the trigger for a happier, more together workplace?

Fast forward six months and I would sit in my office with the HR team watching colleagues walk down the corridor outside. The five ‘values boards’, each with one of the centrally created statements hung from the ceiling. I’d watch taller team members bang their heads on the boards and dash outside to ask them if they could remember the values.

No one ever could.

And they had literally just banged their heads on them.

Tens of thousands of pounds spent for almost zero return. What a waste.

Hopefully, this doesn’t sound familiar to you. If it does, there is one simple step to get more people engaged in the company values.

Get your people to talk about their values

The research is clear and unequivocal. If you roll out a set of company values without connecting them to your peoples’ personal values they will fail.

However, if you get people talking about their own personal values – even without a set of company values – their engagement levels will increase.

If you create a set of company values that reflect the personal values of your people and you help people make that connection, then you are in the sweet spot. Your engagement levels can increase by up to 20%.

Create values that make sense

It sounds like a simple challenge yet so many organisations get it so wrong.

If you can, change your company’s values to a set more aligned with the values of the people who make up your business. If you need help to do this contact us

If you aren’t in a position to change your organisation’s values, then help your people connect their values with those of your business.

In doing so you will create a set of values that people really care about.

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