A value-based organization has a strong visible culture and shared core values. The values of the organization resonate with the personal values of the employees and encourage a workforce who are supportive, engaged and productive. Value-based HR strategies have not always been the modus operandi of top-down leadership. In these authoritarian traditional workplaces quality work was assumed rather than deserved. If your organization has been generating disengaged employees it is likely that you need to analyze the cause of the disenchantment and begin building a value-based HR strategy.
1. Analyse the organization and the need for change
The first step is to assess what needs to change in the current strategy. Assess what is working and what is not. The best way to do this is to directly ask your staff at all levels of the organization. Ask what is working and what is not. Ask what makes them want to come into work and what does not. A two-week period of collecting information will help ensure the answers are not reactionary but well considered. After all of the data is collected it should be assembled in a large brainstorm, divided into categories and then into core values. At Team Building Asia we call it Teamstorming, the process of combining all of the individual ideas both inside and outside of the company and then meaningfully assembling them into structural change.
2. Create a shared vision – a common direction
A strong shared vision makes everyone work harder, smarter and more energetically. However vision and values cannot be dictated from the top-down and have the same impact. Your company vision and goals are those of your staff whether they align with that of the CEO or not. Take the time to discover your shared vision and your common direction, allowing everyone to have a say. It will cause your mission statement to mean a lot more to the people working towards it. It is likely that the people who chose to work at your organization were attracted to it for similar reasons, tap into those shared values, capture them and use them to motivate your staff. Big picture goals are important, e.g. largest company in the field or best customer service. However, small attainable goals are a great way of maintaining vision and morale. Team building activities such as Mission, Vision and Values help teams find their common direction and boost engagement as a result.
3. Define a change plan
Once the need for change has been established it is time to start developing practices to change it. The change plan has to be clear and based on the shared vision. The plan needs to be communicated quickly and clearly and it must empower action. During the change plan stage, you must be very careful to consider the content of the change, the people who are affected and the process (or roadmap) of the change. No matter how beneficial a change may be people usually react negatively at first. Denial and resistance are the first two stages in the natural process of dealing with change and they must be accepted and worked through effectively.
4. Build commitment
The spirit of commitment rather than compliance needs to be built into the framework of your team. Committed teams care about their projects, they foresee problems before they happen, they put in the extra mile and they don’t run out the door at 5pm. Commitment is built when people are aware of their roles and feel the weight of importance of their position, commitment is built when people feel empowered to make their own choices, commitment is built when their task aligns with their own values and most importantly commitment is built when team members respect one another enough to make them want to exceed expectations. Commitment to other team members is a vital ingredient to any good team. Regular team building and inspiring hands-on leadership should be the backbone of your HR strategy.
5. Optimise the communication process
Communication is your company’s most powerful tool. Employee misunderstandings cost the US $37 billion each year, that is an average of $62 million per company. Misunderstandings and communication breakdowns are not just frustrating for the staff; they are actually costing you millions in lost profits. According to Inc. 48% of companies do not communication management goals effectively to their staff, causing mass misunderstandings and confusion on a daily basis.
The most vital part of your change strategy should be to work out effective communication strategies that acknowledge the speed of information in the modern workplace. Meetings are not always the answer, in fact meetings are a tremendous drain on time and money often accounting for 30% of an employees work week. Technology, when used effectively can reduce the amount of time spent communicating important information. However, it is important to brief new adopters the best practice and develop parameters on incessant emailing.
Why make the change to value-based?
A value-based organization will always outperform its authoritarian competition. Your greatest resource is your people and how they feel in their role is worth more to workplace culture, engagement and bottom line finances than many can imagine. As written by Sybil F. Stershic “The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.” So perhaps it is time to initiate a value-based HR strategy in your company.