Once the executive staff has agreed on the Vision and Mission, it is beneficial to develop a short list of values to be embraced by all members of the staff. These value statements will guide the team and provide checks and balances on the development of a healthy corporate culture. Following is a list of value statements I have used in different companies over the course of my career. It is advisable to pick no more than four to six.
CUSTOMERS ARE THE REASON WE EXIST
Without someone to purchase our products and services we would have no reason to continue as a business. Our sole purpose is to satisfy the requirements of our customers and through them provide the highest level of quality and product performance anywhere.
QUALITY IS EVERYONE’S JOB
Each and every one of us makes a contribution to the quality of product and services provided. We must ensure that the results of our daily efforts are accurate, timely and in accord with expected results. We should be pro-active in auditing our functions to ensure we are doing the job right the first time.
WE ARE DRIVEN TO GET RESULTS
To achieve our corporate goals we must set objectives for ourselves, which are aggressive, and of a world-class nature. While dedicated effort and enthusiasm are a big part of our job, we are ultimately measured by the results we achieve. It is our responsibility to define expectations among ourselves and then work together to ensure the meeting of those commitments.
MISTAKES ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN
We view a mistake as the opportunity to teach. This may be a better method of making decisions, managing our business or just the opportunity to share the importance of certain issues. Through this process of learning from our mistakes we will grow as individuals and as a team. During this process we can determine additional training or organizational needs.
WE VALUE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL
In pursuit of our ambitious goals we must not forget that whatever we accomplish is done with the help of many individual efforts. As we continue to grow, we must keep in mind that we are still a collection of individuals who have chosen our company as a place of employment. We should not take other team member’s presence here for granted.
It is our mandate to provide an ever-increasing level of quality to both our internal and external customers. We should strive for quality in all activities of our work. We must not rest on yesterday’s successes or comparisons to our competitors. We need to continually seek out opportunities to eliminate causes of rejects and raise the quality expectations and performance.
When we get requests for information or a problem arises we should address them as quickly as we can. Many times, other decisions are waiting for our response. Even if the final resolution will take longer than expected, we should keep others informed of our progress on a timely basis. If we are going to miss a deadline, we take the initiative to talk to the stakeholders in person before the deadline has passed.
VALUE EACH OTHER
In our words and actions we should exhibit respect and value for each individual and department contribution. We should take the time to listen to the other person’s point of view. When possible, visit each other’s functional area to gain an appreciation for their issues and concerns.
CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO
We recognize that as our business grows and the needs of our customers, employees and suppliers change we need to adapt quickly. We should be pro-active in challenging those areas where we have “Always done it this way”. Allowing us this freedom of investigation will either reinforce the value of a current process or provide input to a better method.
We should take the individual initiative to demonstrate we can be given assignments, which we will complete in a timely manner. If the results are less than expected, we must accept responsibility and initiate action to get back on track. If we make a mistake, which causes someone else more work, we should pitch in and help them to get caught up.
WE CAN ACCOMPLISH MORE TOGETHER THAN ALONE
While an organization is made up of many people, each one brings a unique set of skills and experiences to their job. By taking advantage of this collective wisdom when solving problems or decision making, we gain a tremendous benefit.
DARE TO INNOVATE
For us to stay at the leading edge of our competition we are encouraged to introduce innovative changes in our product design, systems, methods and processes. We are free to try new ideas and quickly discard them if they don’t work without feeling a sense of failure. Finding out what doesn’t work is one of the most important steps to discovering what does.
In the process of satisfying our customers we should create the opportunity for personal growth of all members of our organization. As we attain more skills we become more confident and are able to use these skills to increase the value of our business.
Every day many people in our organization establish new levels of performance or solve a problem. We should find the appropriate way to recognize and applaud these achievements.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list of all possible value statements. The purpose of establishing value statement is to define specific characteristics of the culture you want the organization to embrace. Do not expect these values to be attained overnight but you should see an ongoing increase in the attainment of them. You should actively monitor how well the organization is progressing. Staff members should be encouraged to challenge themselves if they are not living up to these values.