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Do Values Matter in the Workplace?

As one of Dr Brené Brown’s global certified Dare to Lead™ facilitators, I’ve had the privilege of taking over 400 people through the full Dare to Lead program in recent years.

Based on her research into what skills leaders are going to need to ‘still be standing’ and leading thriving cultures in five years’ time, Dare to Lead™ focuses on growing the four skill sets that build courage.

Because that’s what the leaders overwhelmingly told her. We need braver leaders. We need more courageous cultures.

We need to have hard conversations, and have them sooner. We need to be getter at both giving and receiving in the moment feedback, so we can adapt, learn and surface what’s not working more quickly.

One of these four skills is knowing our personal and organisational Values, which is so important, because we can’t “live into” what we can’t name!

Brené says that in her experience, less that 10% or organisations are clear on their Values, and have gone to the effort of naming the specific behaviours that bring each of these Values to life each day at work.

She goes on further to say it may be better not to have a set of Values, than have poorly articulated ones that no-one knows about, or worse, that no-one lives in to!

We know from research at the Neuroleadership Institute  that our brains remember things that are clearly presented, ‘sticky’ and do not overwhelm.

So when clarifying your organisational Values, try and come up with no more then three!

And then work through the process of naming specific behaviours for each of the Values, and find ways to creatively share these ‘operationalised Values’ across every layer of your business. One CEO I worked with gave every one of his employees a belt with their Values engraved, and people wore it with such pride.

You’ll know you’re successful when every person in your organisation has the operationalised Values on the tip of their tongue, and gets excited when they’re regularly called out for living into them.

What are the benefits of operationalising Values in the workplace?

  • Psychological safety grows
  • Provides a common purpose that all employees can understand, connect with, work towards and live by
  • Cultures start to thrive – when you talk about Values, you get to understand people at a deeper level and what really matters to them
  • Accountability grows: it’s helpful to hold people accountable to an agreed set of behaviours
  • Both giving and receiving feedback improves
  • Decision making improves – Values are like a North star, a reminder of what is truly important at any moment in time, and in the longer term
  • Employees and leadership understand the motivators behind company decisions
  • Provides clarity in strategic direction
  • Hard conversations start happening across all layers – Values spur people on to have the courage to speak up
  • People become more willing to check in with each other from an emotional perspective, and show that they care
  • Values attract talent: Salaries and other benefits all have a part to play but people want to know that an organisation aligns with their own Values. Research shows that 71% of professionals would take a pay cut to work in an organisation that shares their Values

I’m sure that as you read this, you can think of many more reasons as to why Values are so important. I’d love to hear about them!

Want more help with this?

Book a free Discovery Call with me, where we can explore ways in which the team at Courageous Leadership Hub can support you on your organisation towards a more vulnerable and change-ready culture.

Cheers,

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