10 Questions to Assess If Your Corporate Values Have Value

Picture of a man Assess Corporate Values Have Value?

Assess Corporate Values
When did you last assess corporate values?  Are corporate values just “nice-to-haves?”  Most corporate lobbies proudly display the poster of “standard” corporate values to impress recruits and communicate what matters most.

They usually include values like integrity, accountability, team work, results-driven, innovation, and, more recently, diversity.

But, Are Your Company’s Values Making a Difference in How People Work, Think and Behave?
To have an impact on your strategy, on your culture and on your workforce, values must be more than catchy phrases and words on a website and a poster in the hallway.

Ten Questions to Assess Corporate Values
If you want to get a quick sense if your values are making the desired impact, start by asking these ten questions to assess if your corporate values have value:

  1. Do your values define what is really most important?
  2. Do your values espouse the fundamental beliefs of the organization and its leaders?
  3. Do your values help to guide important decisions in both good and bad times?
  4. Are your values consistently modeled and monitored by leadership?
  5. Do high performers consistently live your values?
  6. Are their meaningful rewards for following your values?
  7. Are their proportionate consequences for not following your values?
  8. Do your values have a real purpose in your marketplace and business strategy?
  9. Are your values the bedrock of a high performance environment?
  10. Do your values help you to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent?

Corporate Values Done Right
Done right, corporate values can serve as the foundation for who you hire, fire, promote, reward and how you make critical decisions.  But coming up with and living meaningful values for your team or organization does not happen without serious commitment and effort.  Explicitly lived values create accountability and therefore, discomfort.

What Strong Corporate Values Feel Like
Like an immune system, strong corporate values can make some employees feel unwanted or constrained.  Strong values create boundaries for the accepted behavior of its people. They also open the door for executives to be quickly judged as hypocrites when even minor variations are perceived.

How To Test The Strength of Your Corporate Values
One of the best ways to test whether or not values have potency is to observe what happens when the going gets tough. Nothing’s going right. The world seems united against you. Now how do you behave?

Is it in alignment with your values?

This is the true test of whether your values work for you and your organization…not when the sun is shining but when storm clouds gather. Do they act as guideposts for the decisions you need to make? If so, they’re doing their job.

An Example of Strong Corporate Values that Did Good
In 1982 seven people mysteriously died from taking Tylenol extra-strength capsules – the bestselling, non-prescription pain reliever at the time.  That triggered a national scare that prompted an untold number of people to throw medicine away and stores nationwide to pull Tylenol from their shelves.  The capsules had been purposely laced with a lethal dose of cyanide.

Some executives faced with such a nightmare would try to mitigate their financial and public relations risk through smokescreens, delays and denials.

To its credit, Johnson & Johnson took an active role with the media in issuing mass warnings, called for an immediate and massive recall of the more than 31 million bottles of Tylenol, offered replacement capsules to all, and posted a reward for any information leading to the apprehension of the individual or people involved in the random murders.

The corporate value they followed – “protecting people and public safety first.”   Although they were not responsible for the tampering of the product, they assumed responsibility and lived their values.

An Example of Strong Corporate Values that Did Bad
Alternatively, there is the extreme example of Enron’s famously hollow values of respect, integrity, communication and excellence.  The biggest business bankruptcy ever is a stark example of misplaced principles hurting employees, stockholders, communities, vendors and families.

Your Corporate Values Form Your Cultural Foundation
In an article by Collins and Porras in the Harvard Business Review in 1996, the authors talk about a company’s “core ideology” which they define as what a company stands for and why they exist. They refer to company builders like David Packard of HP and William McKnight of 3M who “understood that it is more important to know who you are than where you are going, for where you are going will change as the world around you changes.”

Their premise is that values are the bedrock of an organization.  We agree.

For a company like Zappos, for instance, whose primary value is to “deliver WOW through service,” there are no holds barred when it comes to satisfying the customer. No matter what, this “powered by service” company will continue to make their decisions based on customer satisfaction. It is what has driven them this far and will drive them further even when the future is uncertain. The customer comes first and that’s that.

The Bottom Line
Values matter when things go wrong. Values matter when the way forward is unclear. What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Times are uncertain and you can’t have all the facts but need to forge ahead. Well-conceived values will help steer you in the right direction.

Do your corporate values have value?

To learn more, download a How to Build a Purposeful and Aligned Organizational Culture

Comments are closed.

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More