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.

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

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 continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

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

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

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

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

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

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

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

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

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