Connecting with Values to Inspire a Sense of Belonging for Your Team
Values are a powerful driver of a positive culture in the workplace. Many experts, authors, and studies have explored how values inform a clear sense of purpose, make work meaningful for employees, establish trust, and inspire loyalty. Values also set expectations for employee behavior. They emphasize what your team has in common over differences that can lead to friction. When everyone aligns with the company values, the result is improved overall performance.
As the leader of your business, you champion values for your team. To the extent you make your values a real, integral part of your company culture and not just pay your values lip service, your employees will come to share and live these values at work.
Bring values into conversations
The key to shaping a values-driven business is to be authentic and aspirational. Let your team know these aren’t random business values but have personal meaning for you and your business goals.
Here’s an example of how I talk about values for my business. About a year ago, I redesigned my website, and one of the new content areas I included is a page titled “Reflecting on My Why.” Here I share not just what I value, but why these are my values. These are unique, heartfelt reflections that give visitors a sense of who I am and reasons to trust me.
Use storytelling to discuss with employees how your values inform your business activities and actions. For example, share examples of how your business helped make a difference in the life of a customer or supported the community. Shining a light on examples of your values in action makes them real, builds greater trust, and inspires a shared sense of pride among your team members.
Make your values visible
Consider ways you can incorporate your values into your workplace. Wall posters, screensavers, wallet cards, and fun promotional items provide visual reminders and inspiration to your employees. You also may be able to incorporate your values in public-facing marketing materials.
Celebrate values-driven achievements
Recognize and reward employees who demonstrate the company values at work. This positive reinforcement will inspire other employees to work towards similar achievements.
Learn more about how leadership coaching might apply to your business: