Getting your employees to invest in your vision and values can be a struggle. Many people won’t know much about the values of the company, even after working there for a number of years, while others are simply indifferent. Lack of interest or knowledge can be a real problem, as when staff are engaged with your business vision, it can foster a stronger company culture and a more motivated workforce.
People need to understand how their work impacts the broader goals of the company, and how they’re contributing to the success of the business. Studies have shown that employees who do have such an understanding are more likely to be fulfilled in their work. The question is, how do you get your colleagues to invest in your company values? We’ve explored this in more detail below:
Factors Impacting Interest in Your Values
There are a number of reasons as to why your staff are indifferent to your values, or don’t know a huge amount about them. The main three factors are the relevancy of your values, their accessibility, and how much they’re discussed.
How Relevant Are Your Values?
Most businesses will have a set of values, even if they haven't been fully articulated. But some companies have created their list of values just for the sake of it - they aren’t relevant or genuine. And if your set of ideals are vague or confusing, your employees are unlikely to engage with them. You therefore need to assess your values, ensuring they align with your current business agenda.
How Accessible Are Your Values?
Is it easy to find and understand your values? If your values are hard to access, chances are you won’t garner a lot of interest in them. The same will be true for ideals that are full or acronyms or industry jargon - new hires probably won’t fully understand them, and will therefore pay them little attention. Make sure that your company values are clear, concise, and easily accessible for everyone.
How Often Are Your Values Discussed?
Your management team needs to relate the work undertaken by employees to your business values. If staff get some context on how their role contributes to the wider goals of the company, they’ll be able to better relate to your values. If the leadership team doesn't discuss the business goals on a regular basis, they may need to work on their levels of communication moving forward.
How to Get Staff Investment in Company Ideals
In terms of generating staff interest in your values, there are a few methods you can try for quick wins. For instance, you can ask for input, speak regularly about your values, make your goals more visible, and set up a rewards scheme.
1. Ask Staff for Input
If you’re unsure why your employees are not showing much interest in your values, the best thing to do is ask them! And if the answer is that the values are no longer relevant, what better way to get buy-in than allowing your staff to get involved in writing new ones. Hold a meeting to discuss your current values, and encourage ideas regarding improving them.
If you feel that your company ideals are no longer representative of the goals you’re working towards, you don’t need to worry about overhauling them. It’s better to start from scratch than stick with values that aren’t authentic.
2. Speak Regularly About Your Values
How often do you talk about the values and goals of the company? The more you speak about your values, and make them part of the everyday culture of the business, the better investment you’ll get from staff. Your values will constantly be at the forefront of employees’ minds, so they’ll strive to adhere to them.
To give an example of this, say you’re presenting a financial update about the organisation. While doing this, you can explain how these financial changes are impacting your overarching vision of success, as well as the next steps to achieve this vision.
3. Make Your Goals More Visible
You may have your values written on your website, but what about in the workplace? While making your values public is great for prospective employees, your current staff are unlikely to check the company website regularly. Perhaps consider getting your values printed, and putting them in prominent places around the office.
Another great way to make your values more visible is to discuss them in one-to-ones and performance appraisals. To keep the company ideals in the minds of your employees, include a section in these meetings where you reflect on how well staff members have embodied your values.
4. Set Up a Rewards Scheme
It’s pretty much a universal truth that people love free stuff. So if you want your employees to get invested in your values, why not set up a monthly reward system, offering incentives like a free lunch to the person who best reflected your values that month.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to set up a less formal reward scheme, you could get your managers to recognise employees in their one-to-one meetings, or team meetings. The main thing is that you’re acknowledging the behaviours you wish to see, in terms of your company values.