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Make Your Core Values Stick Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


With intention, energy, and a healthy dose of creati­vity, your values will remain relevant and meanin­gful. Keep the story alive. Discover your culture’s shared values and live them every single day. It will lead you to a stronger organi­zation. Studies show that values have to be intern­alized by employees and integrated into the culture for them to have a meaningful impact.

Here are eight tips on making this happen:

Tips 1-4

1) Clearly define, explain, and articulate your values to your employ­ees.
Most of the core values from the organi­zations we’ve studied are backed by signif­icant context for each one. This might take the form of a one paragraph descri­ption, a company video, or a slideshow to bring each value to life. The more depth, texture, examples, and images you can give to each value, the more power they will have.

2) Educate your organi­zation on your values.
This is vital. If you don’t constantly educate your team and reinforce the importance of your values, they will become mere slogans and will not influence company culture. Hold a special company meeting denoted to rolling out and discussing your new value. Make your values an on-going part of your corporate dialogues.

3) Hire employees who embody your values.

If you’re doing a good job promoting, educating, and embodying these values as an organi­zation, talented people aligned with these values will likely seek you out. Either way, it’s imperative that you hire for the attitudes and behaviors that shape your culture. If not, your new hires will only weaken your organi­zat­ion—no matter how talented they might be.

4) Defend and uphold your corporate values.
If you’re going to establish core values that define your corporate culture, what are you going to do when an employee clearly doesn’t honor them? You can’t change a person’s values; you can only hire people who share the same values. If you don’t let this employee go, what message are you sending about the importance of these values? Your core values shouldn’t be altered in difficult situations like economic downturns. These values were establ­ished as a guidepost to see the organi­zation through both calm and rough waters. Your values should be timeless, sustai­nable, and unchan­ging.

Tips 5-8

5) Reinforce your values with consis­ten­cy.
Using values in your business is like any other business discip­line. All discip­lines require consis­tency and practice.
{fa-sq­uar­e}}­Dis­tribute a copy of your core values to every employee.
{fa-sq­uar­e}}­Create poster boards that highlight each value and hang them around your offices.
{fa-sq­uar­e}}­Ref­erence the values in meetings; they need to become part of how everyone behaves and makes decisions.
{fa-sq­uar­e}}­Reward, recognize, and celebrate employees and teams that exemplify the company’s values.
{fa-sq­uar­e}}Make sure you and your leadership are modeling behavior based on your values. If not, your values will lose their power and will not stick.

6) Bring your values to life through storyt­ell­ing.
Keep your values fresh and relevant. Employees will ignore a wall plaque within days, if not hours. Continue to challenge yourself to find ways to keep your values fresh and alive in your employees’ minds. Take note when employees and team members are actual­izing the values. When you reward and recognize these behaviors, be sure to share it with your organi­zation. Ask employees to share stories of how they saw one of their core values in action within the past week. Storyt­elling of this nature is one of the best ways to encode these values in your employees’ minds and to give them a life of their own.

7) Make sure leadership embodies each value.
Recognize and rate your leaders and employees on how well they embody the core values as part of perfor­mance reviews. If the leadership of your enterprise doesn’t live the core values, you can’t expect that your employees will.

8) Promote your values on your website.
Remember that actualized corporate values will act like a homing beacon for talented people who share your values. The About Us or HR section of your corporate website is a great place to highlight the unique features of your culture.