Corporate values generate employee engagement
engagement creates value in the organization.
First, let’s look at proof that a company’s meaningful attention to corporate values contributes to greater success. From a 2004 poll of 365 senior executives conducted with the Aspen Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton reported:
“Top performers consciously connect values and operations. Companies that report superior financial results emphasize such values as commitment to employees, drive to succeed, and adaptability far more than their peers. They are also more successful in linking values to the way they run their companies: A significantly greater number report that their management practices are effective in fostering values that influence growth…..” (underscoring mine).
So, what role does engagement play in linking values to success results? Simply this: the company that defines, communicates, and acts upon its values actually engages all levels in the values.
Leadership engages in defining the values and communicating them to management as relevant to vision and strategy.
Management engages in applying the values to structure, process, and procedure and communicating that to employees as relevant to operations and objectives.
Employees and teams engage in receiving the values, witnessing them demonstrated by the actions of leadership and management, and applying the values as they carry out their daily tasks and assignments.
I like what Marshall Goldsmith says about Johnson & Johnson as an engaging values model for all companies:
…with its less-powerful language and seemingly dated presentation, the Johnson & Johnson Credo works — primarily because over many years, the company’s management has taken the values that it offers seriously. Johnson & Johnson executives have consistently challenged themselves and employees not just to understand the values, but to live them in day-to-day behavior. (To read the entire credo, click here.)
“Ultimately, [leadership's] actions will say much more to employees about [leadership's] values and leadership skills than [their] words ever can. If our actions are wise, no one will care if the words on the wall are not perfect. If our actions are foolish, the wonderful words posted on the wall will only make us look more ridiculous.”
Our goal is to make neither the words nor the actions foolish or ridiculous.