Aug 26, 2011

What record about values are you playing at HR?

460966_91083212.jpgI have to value my previous place of work. Values at that company were extremely clearly communicated. If anyone in that company had, or has today, any misunderstanding of the values, they must not spend a lot of time at work! Values (in this company) are very well defined and incorporated into recruitment criteria, induction as well as quarterly performance evaluation criteria. Even though I must admit I had something to do with this, the culture of living the values was already in place way before I ever started working there.
What's the value your corporate values?

An article in a Finnish business magazine website talked about bringing company values into practise. It was such a mumbojumbo about things like "recognize the values of other people" and "lead knowledge and feelings" and "map the values". What do these mean? This sounded as far fetched as how values typically are from the reality of an employee's life! Values should be simple enough to understand and activate into action. The more mumbojumbo, the more likely they will never come to live.

Do you know what the values of your company are?

These days when I meet people from other organisations I keep asking what are your corporate values and how could I see and feel them if I worked here. Too often even the CEO's and the HR directors are unable to name if not all, at least part of their values. This only tells me in reality, the values are not that important and if they are,  they are too complex, thus difficult to understand and remember. What a waste!
How does one incorporate values into everyday life at organisations? 
For example this way:
  • Recruitment criteria communicates values as what kind of person the company is looking for. What type of behaviour is appreciated and expected.
  • Induction introduces values as actions and activities in position specific tasks. It is important to give real examples of behaviour and action to new employees and check later on if they have been able to make the values alive in their work.
  • Performance evaluation should have values as one area of evaluation. Getting feedback on how well the employee has lived according to the values and appraising on understanding how values should be lived. Living according to the values should also be a criteria for anyone moving onto a supervisory role. If anyone, people managers should act as an example of what the values mean in performance and behaviour!
It won't get simpler than this and it really works. Certainly values don't need to be framed into something so theorethical no one understands and no one cares to understand. If you cannot bring values to this level, they are too complicated and where's the value of that?

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