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Why Our Values Are Our Compass

Why and How to Define Organizational Values

Have you ever worked for an organization and been given a task that doesn’t align with your role and you aren’t sure why? Are you a business owner that sometimes feels yourself getting off track and losing sight of your roots? These are two very common hurdles for employees and business owners alike. When we are in the thick of it is easy to feel like your compass is spinning out of control, this is when organizational values can help you get back on track.

Organizational values are your core beliefs, they are the words that light your fire, they guide your behaviors and decisions, and they are the words that help you come back to your roots when things get challenging. Your values feel good for the organization as a whole, they are your team’s super powers.

So, why are values so important? Organizational values help determine how to pursue your organizations purpose. Organizational values can help guide you towards hiring the right people, creating goals, managing performance, and building your organization. They are the backbone to the organizations choices. Having values defined help when communicating why an employee has been given a task that doesn’t align with their role and it helps business owners define their organizational culture and create legacy.

Defining your values isn’t an easy task. It takes time, teamwork, and honesty. It takes creativity and a release of all the clutter. But is it worth it? Yes!

Below are four steps that can help get you and your organization started in designing your organizational values.

Step 1: Brain Dump

Get your team together for a brain dump session. Coffee (or tea) in hand and let your team throw out words that they believe define the organizations core values.

Step 2: Limit your List

A list of 50 values is a bit overwhelming, but a list of 3–5 organizational values is attainable. Look at your list, find any common themes, cross out the words that don’t fit your organizations culture internally and externally, and hone in on a 3–5 values that truly light your fire.

Step 3: Define Your Values

Yes, these words that you have labeled as your values have definitions in the dictionary, but take some time to identify them for yourself and your organization. Be creative, be honest, be detailed.

Step 4: Share and Live Your Values

Shout your values from the roof top! Share them with your clients and your whole team. Get folks pumped on who you are and your legacy! Also, start living in these values every day. Know that these values are here to help you succeed and reach your true goals.

Extra Credit: CELEBRATE!

It is no small feat to identify and define your values. It takes time, trust and authenticity. Now that you have worked through and defined them, celebrate them! Celebrate them as a team and start living them every day!

Are you the employee that is feeling disconnected from the tasks your manager has put on your plate? Take a moment to ask your manager how these tasks align with your organizations values. When an employee feels connected to the values of the organization it can lead to higher productivity, motivation, and performance.

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