3 Ways to Motivate Your Employees Through Corporate Values

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A recent Gallup report highlighted that a significant number of employees are “quietly quitting” or psychologically distancing themselves from their work. Based on the insights on how jobs could be improved, most responses did not revolve around pay or benefits. Instead, participants pointed to corporate factors such as autonomy, clear goals and recognition as essential contributors to the company.

As a CEO and founder, I’ve always believed that a positive and employee-centric company culture is vital to discourage low engagement. People want to be heard and valued. We all have an innate desire to know that our work contributions matter.

With this in mind, we shifted our company values, understanding that our employees play a pivotal role in shaping the company ethos. We formulated an inclusive corporate values framework that guides our decisions and actions. The framework is built on the input of all our employees, ensuring that it reflects our team’s diverse perspectives and experiences.

Here’s how we made that transition by creating our company’s values with input from each employee.

Related: How to Create a Connected Workforce Through Quality Core Values

Formulate corporate values through crowdsourcing

When I started my company, I chose key individuals to shape the company’s vision, mission and values. These were the people that I believed would propel the business for the next few years. I also didn’t think I should be the one to create these messages since I initially harbored doubts about the significance of having corporate values. I questioned their purpose and who they were truly benefiting. Back then, I thought assessing value alignment in the hiring process was unrealistic since most candidates tend to agree to secure the job.

However, two things altered my perspective. First, I saw people’s genuine reliance on and belief in corporate values firsthand. They were a guiding light, a shared foundation for decision-making and behavior. Second, the need for inclusivity became increasingly apparent. The values must serve everyone, not just a select few.

My company embarked on a journey to formulate corporate values through crowdsourcing in response to these realizations. Although company culture is usually created in isolation and implemented from the top, we upturned this paradigm and engaged our entire workforce, including remote employees, in the process.

We conducted more than 30 interviews, asking top management, team leaders and company representatives what they found most important in a working environment, what qualities a company should embody, and how we can best unite under a common goal. The interview results were then shared with all employees for feedback, and an initial list of values was formed.

This list was ranked by how frequently they were mentioned. After a study of market trends and tendencies among international companies was conducted, texts in slogan format were composed and submitted for voting among company employees.

Regardless of their position, everyone was encouraged to vote on their values. This inclusivity cultivated a sense of ownership and ensured that values aligned with our diverse workforce. After a vote with a more than 50% turnout, the results were not just diverse but also remarkably impactful. Six corporate value slogans became apparent, and one that resonated for the majority is respecting others’ time. This value has had a tangible impact on our daily practices. Analytics and calendar records reveal that meetings have become more streamlined, requiring fewer participants and less time. This freed up colleagues to focus on other tasks, leading to more efficient engagements and improved teamwork. We’ve created a more cohesive and purpose-driven company culture by involving everyone in shaping our shared principles.

Learn how to adopt and adapt shared values

The next step in our corporate transformation was to integrate our shared values into the very fabric of the company. Admittedly, I only fully aligned with a subset of these values. However, I recognized their importance and understood their role in creating a cohesive and successful organization. A CEO doesn’t need a rigid “my way or no way” approach to leadership. In some cases, adaptive adoption is essential.

The key to making an imperfect fit work is to embrace nuances. When companies insist on strictly following their values, it can hinder employees’ creativity and innovation. It’s better to be open to different perspectives and approaches because this lets employees bring their unique ideas to the table while staying true to the company’s overall values.

Team leaders must also effectively communicate these values to manage and motivate employees. Focus on identifying core values that resonate most with team members and use them as guiding principles. Leaders at my company periodically remind the team of the company’s core values, especially during critical decision-making moments. This helps ensure everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals.

Related: 3 Strategies to Help Leaders Ignite Passion in the Workplace (and Why It’s Important)

Integrate crowdsourced values into practical means

My company’s corporate values strongly impact the practical side of the business, including the hiring process, performance metrics and promotion evaluations.

Transparent hiring decisions are paramount to upholding our values. During recruitment, our hiring personnel carefully articulate the reasons behind their candidate selections, providing statistical evidence to support their choices. This transparency nurtures trust and alignment with our mission and vision.

Performance metrics are vital to evaluating individual and team performance. Performance metrics are often overlooked in the IT industry, but we have found them invaluable. Our sales metrics, for example, revealed the need to restructure our team. This process promoted open communication about work expectations and challenges. It also created a culture where everyone feels empowered to discuss their performance openly.

Values are also at the forefront of promotion evaluations. We believe that responsibility should be accompanied by fair compensation, and we strive for transparency in this process. Team leaders are often more critical in assessing value alignment than the HR department. They are the ones who interact with employees daily and can best gauge their commitment to our values.

By incorporating our crowdsourced values into the business’s practical aspects, we gain a broader spectrum of insights and perspectives, leading to enhanced decision-making that resonates with our employees, customers, and the industry at large.

Employee-empowered values backed by leaders

As a CEO, I firmly believe that authentic values and engaged employees are the cornerstones of sustainable growth. Improving an existing company culture anchored in these vital components requires a perspective shift, where inclusivity and employee-empowered values hold power. My company’s blueprint for crowdsourcing values exemplifies this approach, actively engaging all team members and tapping into their diverse perspectives and experiences.

Other organizations can emulate our success by adopting similar practices. They can create a values-driven culture that empowers employees by prioritizing inclusivity, transparency, and fairness, ultimately leading to long-term success.

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