Determining your values: resource

8 March, 2021
Illustration of people walking with banners "professionalism" "pride" "integrity"

Determining your values‘ is the next in our series of short, free-to-download resources designed to help with individual aspects of your internal communications strategy. You’ll also find a podcast to go along with it.

But we don’t have any values

All individuals and organisations have principles that are important to them, whether they have written them down or not. Identifying what they are so you can communicate them to your stakeholders is an important way to build a value-led culture and develop consistent behaviours. Exploring and agreeing on collective values is key to effective teamwork.

What is important to you?

This ‘Determining your values‘ resource is not suggesting for a moment that you should tear up your set of established values and start again. You have probably spent a lot of time pulling them together. We just want you to think about what principles are really important to you. If you haven’t really thought about it, this is your starting point. Even if you do have published organisational values, it is still good to do this from your own personal perspective to check that your company values work alongside your own.

Determining your organisational values

This exercise is the foundation of determining your values. We are suggesting you do this from an organisational perspective but it is also useful to do it again from a personal point of view and at team level. Download the Determining Your Values tool and then start to think about some of the words you would use to describe your organisation. Select all those that are important to you. Keep these in mind but then whittle it down to just three words. These are the three things that are absolutely critical to you, your team and your organisation. They are the things you would never give up. By doing that, we are trying to force you to be crystal clear on what your values are. Hopefully, your organisational values will gravitate towards your personal ones.

Personal vs organisational values

If you find that they are different, that’s fine. Just because they are not exactly the same doesn’t mean they are incompatible. It is ok to have local, team and personal values but you would hope to find some congruence between them. In a couple of weeks’ time, we’ll be getting you to assess and compare your personal values with those of your organisation. Are they true and are they relevant? For now, have a go at this exercise to identify exactly where your values lie. Then have it ready when we publish the next one – they work as a pair.

How to operationalise your values

To operationalise your values well and effectively, you need to identify the behaviours and decisions you want to see as a result. What do you want your values to achieve within the organisation? These are the indicators of whether the values you have identified are really the most important. These will be the things that drive behaviours and decision making. Having strong values and being able to articulate them is important. This then leads you to find customers and employees who espouse those same ideals.

An internal communications toolbox

The idea behind these resources is that we provide you with a toolbox, if you like. A mix of personal reflection and team exercises, each focused on a specific topic. They are all straightforward, easy to use and ranked in terms of difficulty from 1 to 10, 1 being very easy and 10 being something you will need to spend a little more time on. If you want to discuss how you might use them in different ways, please give us a shout. If you have any questions or, indeed, feedback, we’d love to hear from you. Maybe there is a topic you would like us to cover? Just let us know. In the meantime, enjoy this exercise and we hope you find it useful.

Our next resource will be looking at how you can assess your values to make sure they are fit for purpose.

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