According to a Wall Street Journal and NBC News poll, patriotism, religion and having children are not as important to Americans as they were decades ago. The change is driven by Millennials and Gen Zers, who don’t rank those values as high as older generations. Despite the generational gaps, Americans of all ages rank the value working hard higher than everything else.
As I read the study, I thought about the importance of corporate values, and an organization declaring what matters to them. Why? Because values are so much more than just a plaque on the wall. Companies need to hire for a values match, rate employees at performance management time on their ability to live and role model the values, communicate what the values are and why they are important, and recognize employees for living the values.
In addition, your values must come alive. Meaning, when a person has an interaction with your organization, they should ‘sense’ your values in the transaction. If you say you value extraordinary customer service, the transaction must be extraordinary. If you say you value innovation, you must develop revolutionary products or services.
WHAT CAN I DO? Conduct a values audit. Look at your values and ask yourself if they are a living breathing thing or simply words. If they are on target, consider hiring for a values match, rating employees at performance management time on their ability to live and role model the values, communicating what the values are and why they are important, and recognizing employees for living the values. Values play an important role. They are the lasting beliefs shared by the members of your culture about what is good or bad/ desirable or undesirable – don’t let them be anything less. Need help reworking your values? I’m a phone call away.