Core Values are an common point of discussion in most business development courses. But does your team truly live by them? I’ll be honest, I created our Core Values, with great intentions and a lot of careful thought, deliberation and aspiration. The trouble was, they were the work of myself and my business coach. After they had been decided upon, I shared the importance of these with my team and proudly added them to our website.
Can you see the problem here?
Luckily I was recently invited to join the Accelerator Program within EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organisation), a wonderful network of successful business owners encouraging, teaching and sharing their experience and knowledge with those of us navigating our way for the first time. At a recent education day, we discussed Core Values and what they mean. The question came: “How many of you have Core Values associated with your business?” – most proudly raised their hands. Next – “How many of you think your Core Values accurately represent what you as a business do?”. Many hands remained. “Who can tell us what they are?” A few more hands went down. Finally – “If I asked everyone member of your team what they are, how many of you could confidently say they could?”. Almost every hand in the room (including mine) went down.
So I got to thinking – If I want my team to truly live by and practice our Values, they really need to be the ones creating them. At our next team meeting, we spent an hour workshopping these values. Every staff member enthusiastically contributed ideas, sharing what they loved about the job, what we do, what we contribute and how we have a positive effect on people’s lives. And I say people, not just clients/patients/customers/consumers, because our work is about everyone involved. We aim to bring these values to any interaction with all those involved in our client’s care or in their environment – including GPs, family, specialists, referrers, neighbours and even pets.
Add in another few months of deliberating, sharing, back and forth, some help from a copywriter friend, opinions of friends in other industries, and final review by the team once more and voilà! Here they are. And to my delight, the Values could be arranged to create the acronym CHEER. Exactly what I felt like doing after seeing the finished product. I’m very proud of our Values, but what does make me feeling like COL (Cheering Out Loud), is the fact that the team created these, they are ours.