When you’re running a business—small or large—it’s not just about creating quality products and services that will keep consumers coming back, it’s also about your core values as a brand in the overall marketplace.
Your first line of defense to keep the momentum going and build a positive reputation in the industry is through the employees who represent your establishment in the workplace. But how do you ensure that staff members will continue to uphold what the establishment stands for beyond their first few weeks—or years on the job? This month, Forbes Human Resources Council members provide 14 actionable ways HR professionals and company leaders can encourage employees to practice in their everyday work lives.
1. Utilize Performance Reviews
Incorporate company values into performance reviews. Companies should not only review employees on what they do by rating their performance goals, but also by how they achieve their goals. – Jacqlyn Nedvin, Autism Speaks Inc.
2. Provide Tools, Resources And Guidance
Adherence to the company’s core values should start at the top and cascade across the organization. Leaders should set an example by living up to the core values of the company. The role of an HR professional is to provide the tools, resources, and guidance to help employees do the same. – Rachel Lyubovitzky, MidasXL, Inc.
3. Lead By Example
Employees look up to leaders and successful coworkers to see how they behave and approach their roles. When leaders practice what they preach in a genuine way, others will follow. Employees can easily tell when an initiative is done purely for show, especially if there is talk about rolling out a big program to improve the company culture and then six months later everything is the same. – Danny Speros , Zenefits
4. Build On HR Processes
The best way to encourage employees to emulate the value of the organization is to integrate it with the HR processes. Build a special section for succession planning, promotion process, performance management, etc., where the adherence to the company’s core value is discussed along with the performance. This incentivizes the employees to keep the core values in play every day, in everything they do. – Kumar Abhishek, S&P Global
5. Double Down On Core Value Demonstrations
Company leaders must be stewards of the values they want to see their employees emulate. They should strive to utilize one of the company values, at least twice a day, to magnify their importance. Communicating your values is great, but if it’s not visible in the actions of leadership, why would employees demonstrate them? – Nakisha Griffin, Ripple Effect
6. Nominate A ‘Core Values Spotlight’ Member
Implement a “Core Values Spotlight” where colleagues can nominate each other for a core value then present the nominees at an upcoming all-staff event or town hall. It showcases real-life examples of how the core values can be emulated and gives well deserved recognition. – Caroline Faulds, Canada Pooch
7. Provide Day-To-Day Work Examples
Provide examples of ways employees can infuse the values into their day-to-day work, and then recognize them for it when they do. Over time, this becomes a habit and sets the standard for the organization. – Jenna Hinrichsen, Advanced RPO
8. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
In order for the employee to be able to emulate the core values, the company must be clear on what it is and how to align with the business. In addition, senior leaders must walk the walk. Otherwise, employees will not only refuse to emulate the goals but will also develop a negative perception of the company as a whole. – Frank Molinario, Security First Insurance Company Inc
9. Design A List Of Actions For Leaders To Put In Place
HR professionals must influence Leaders in the organization to emulate the company’s core values. Leaders must “walk the talk”. HR can also help in defining a list of actions that demonstrates the core values. Finally, HR professionals must design all people practices that highlight the core values of performance assessment, rewards and engagement. All of these must align with the company’s core values. – Pradipta Banerjee, emids Technologies
10. Facilitate Executive-Level Conversations
HR professionals can help to facilitate conversations at the executive level and then deeper within the business. This helps define what the core values look like in practice every day. The behaviors that get recognized and rewarded, through leader recognition and key HR programs, need to align and reinforce the core values. As a first step, examine your performance management and recognition practices. – Jennifer Rozon, McLean & Company
11. Help Employees Understand And Adopt Behaviors
HR should ensure that the company core values are embraced and embodied by the leadership team, management and then cascaded to all employees as part of their goals. Reinforcing the importance of executing the right way, and leading by example will help employees understand and adopt the behaviors that these values represent and that will help them succeed.- Eva Majercsik, Genesys
12. Build A Repository Of Stories And Actions
HR professionals can build a repository of stories and actions that are based on core values. Employees can then add to this approach with a personal story or action that is based on a core value. In this way, the core values are just not offered lip service but also become a living part of how work is done. – Pravir Malik, Galaxiez
13. Empower Employees With Data-Driven Evidence And Values
Managers can position employees for precision, pace and velocity of decision making by empowering the team with a data, evidence and values-based framework. By embedding company values into a daily decision-making structure, teams are agile, productive and engaged in delivering output that aligns to mission and purpose. – MJ Vigil, Medable Inc.
14. Build Your Way Up
Employees often overestimate what can be done in a week, but underestimate what can be done in a year. To this point, remind employees that values are best expressed through daily actions. Instead of grand gestures, focus on incremental steps that reflect the dignity and respect of the company’s higher purpose. It may seem like small potatoes at first. But these efforts are what drives culture. – David Swanagon, Ericsson
This post is written by Forbes Human Resources Council.