Get Your Values off the Wall (2 of 3)

November 1, 2012 Darcy Jacobsen

…and Get Results from Them.

In part one of this post, we shared some recent survey findings on the strong links between practicable core values (made livable through employee recognition programs) and business success. The results were compelling, but in case you are still skeptical, I thought I’d follow it up with  the analysts’ point of view

Needless to say, they are in agreement. In fact, best-selling business writer Jim Collins has argued that having core values is essential to enduring business greatness: “The point is not what core values you have,” he wrote, “but that you have core values at all, that you know what they are, that you build them explicitly into the organization, and that you preserve them over time.” In their book, Built to Last, Collins and Jerry Porras found that “companies with strong positive core vision and core values have outperformed the general stock market by a factor of 12 since 1925.”

According to research firm Modern Survey: “While having employees who know and understand organizational values does not ensure high levels of engagement, the absence of known values makes full engagement almost impossible to achieve. Furthermore, employees who respond that their organization’s values are not known and understood, or don’t know if those values are known and understood, are disengaged nearly 60 percent of the time.”

Modern Survey chart of engagement

In fact, Modern Survey found that employees who know and understand their company values are 26x more likely to be fully engaged.

CEOs are acutely aware of this importance. In IBM’s 2012 Global CEO Study, conducted with 1,709 CEOs, general managers and senior public sector leaders around the globe, CEO’s ranked Ethics and Values as their #1 focus, and the report recommended that companies: “Build values employees will live out. Allow the organization to collectively compose its core values. Thinking and behaving in ways consistent with the organization’s values cannot be induced. Employees must truly believe in the purpose, mission and values of the organization. And to develop a shared belief system, employees must help create it.”

IBM Chart of company values

Yet, interestingly, the same SHRM/Globoforce study mentioned in my last post found that only 50% of companies have recognition programs tied back to their company values.

Chances are you already have strong company values. Hopefully you’re also already basing your employee recognition on them. But if you’re looking for guidance on this, check out the final part of this series, where we’ll explore some best practices for creating practicable values and methods for making them livable that transcend the old standby plaques and badge stickers.

Related Posts:

Get Your Values Off the Wall …and Make them Work for You (Part 1)
Get Your Values Off the Wall …and Make them Livable (Part 3)

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