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Identify Your Values and Value Statements for Your Strategic Framework

Use These Sample Values to Identify Your Own Values

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Your values are the core of what your organization is and what your organization cherishes. Values are beliefs that manifest in how an employee interacts in a workplace. Values represent an employee's most significant commitments to what he or she finds most important in life. (Values are also known as core values and as governing values; they all refer to the same sentiment.)

Value statements are developed from your values and define how people want to behave with each other in the organization. Your value statements provide a measuring device against which you evaluate all of your actions and behaviors. Your value statements give words and meaning to the values that you decide to live by daily.

Value statements are declarations about how the organization will value customers, suppliers, and the internal community. Value statements describe actions that are the living enactment of the fundamental values held by most individuals within the organization.

The values of each of the individuals in your workplace, along with their experiences, upbringing, and so on, meld together to form your corporate culture. The values of your senior leaders are especially important in the development of your culture. These leaders have a lot of power in your organization to set the course and establish the quality of the environment for people. Your leaders have selected employees who they believe have congruent values and fit your workplace culture.

The Impact of Your Personal Values

If you think about your own life, your values form the cornerstones for all that you do, think, believe, and accomplish. Your personal values define where you spend your time, if you are truly living your values.

Each of you makes choices in life according to your most important four – ten values. Why not take the time to identify what is most important to you and to your organization? Identify and live your values. Manifest your values through value statements.

Why Identify and Establish Values?

Effective organizations identify and develop a clear, concise and shared meaning of values/beliefs, priorities, and direction so that every employee understands and can contribute. Once defined, values impact every aspect of your organization.

You must support and nurture the impact of these values and value statements or identifying values will have been a wasted exercise. Employees will feel fooled and misled unless they see the impact of the values and value statements within your organization.

Create Impact Through Values and Value Statements

If you want the values you identify and the value statements you craft to have an impact within your organization, the following must occur.

  • Employees must demonstrate and model these values in action in their personal work behaviors, decision making, contribution, and interpersonal interaction.

  • Organizational values help each person establish priorities in their daily work life. Priorities and actions must be grounded in the organization's values and model the value statements identified for each employee's job.

  • Values guide every decision that is made once the organization has cooperatively created the values and the value statements.

  • Rewards and recognition within the organization are structured to recognize those people whose work embodies the values and the value statements that the organization identified and embraced.

  • Organizational goals are grounded in the identified values. Employees have identified how their goals and actions are congruent with and demonstrate the values daily.

  • Adoption of the values and the behaviors that result is recognized in regular performance feedback.

  • People hire and promote individuals whose outlook and actions are congruent with the organization's values.

Only the active participation of all members of the organization, plus the development of the systems and processes of the organization grounded in the company's values, will ensure a truly organization-wide, value-based, shared culture.

Sample Values

The following are examples of values: ambition, competency, individuality, equality, integrity, service, responsibility, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility, honesty, innovativeness, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality, efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness, discipline/order, generosity, persistence, optimism, dependability, flexibility.

Although important aspects of your life and deserving of your attention, these are not values: family, church, professionalism. If you define what you value about each of these, then you are identifying the core value. For example, the core value in family might be close relationships; in church, spirituality; and in professionalism, demonstrating integrity in everything you do.

Use this additional list of values as a thought-starter for your values identification process.

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