By Kevin O’Connor, VP Coaching & Consulting

The best time to discover your organization’s Core Values and Core Purpose is yesterday! 

However, the end of the year can also be an ideal time to work with key team members to unearth your Values and Purpose, or if you’ve already established these critical aspects of your company, prepare to reinforce them in your organization in the new year. We’ve helped numerous organizations with the Values and Purpose and here are some key tips as you think about the process:

  1. Assemble the right team. Whether you have Core Values and a Core Purpose or have yet to discover them, getting the right team members to help communicate or create them is absolutely the first step.  We use the Jim Collins “Mission to Mars” approach.  The thinking goes like this – if you had to send a group of people to Mars to represent your company who would you send?  You’d send the people who best represent what you want your company to stand for.  Work with your leadership team to identify these team members.  For companies with under 100 employees, 5-7 is a good group size.  If you are over 100, you may consider a larger group of 9 or 10 employees. It is also important to represent different departments such as sales, operations, finance and if you have multiple locations, consider who different locations can be represented as well. Ideally, these team members are outside of the executive or senior leadership as well
  2. Communicate the process and be transparent. Let the company know you are taking on this initiative and who is leading it.  Encourage team members to share their feedback with your “Values team”. The Values discovery process should not be a “secret” mission but very open on what they are working on, the deliverables and dates in which the company can expect to share the discovery. If you’ve already created your Values and Purpose, communicate that a committee is going to be working on a project to reinforce the Values and Purpose in the company
  3. Make your Values part of EVERY organizational Process. Obviously, your core values should be incorporated into your feedback or performance evaluation processes. But are the values incorporated into your interview process?  Do you have questions designed to ensure candidates not only have the necessary skills to perform your function, but they are aligned with your Values?  Some processes aren’t so obvious.  For example, are your vendors aligned with your values?  Your Customers?  For example, if you have a Core Value that speaks to kindness and your Customer is disrespectful, will you do business with them?
  4. Make your Core Values and Purpose a Strategic Priority. What strategies do you have in place to ensure the Values and Purpose are being implemented?  Having a strong set of Values and Purpose is a key driver for employee engagement and will reduce turnover and improve efficiencies in the company.

As we approach the end of the year, its not too late to discover your Core Values and Purpose!  The new year can be a great alignment with unveiling your organization’s Values and Purpose and energize and invigorate your existing team as well as potential new hires you are evaluating for open roles. If you need help with this process, or just want to know more on how to get started or how to make your Core  Values more ingrained in your organization, align5 can help. Feel free to reach out to us here.