Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150Some companies profess allegiance to their core values while behaving in utter disregard of them. Customers observing this disingenuous behavior doubt the sincerity of that organization’s commitment. Why should customers trust you?

Our daily existence in this world depends on our ability to interpret the signals delivered to our brains by our senses. We receive all of our information in this way. These signals are received as sensations, feelings.

“We are feeling beings that think – not thinking beings that feel.”
(Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor – My Stroke of Insight).

This is the neurological reason that we make decisions based first on emotion (how the decision makes us feel), and then later rationalize the decision using logic.

Organizations who act in accordance with their core values pass the first test of trustworthiness. Customers commit to suppliers who act in accordance with their stated values. When your core values happen to align with your customers’, then an exceptionally powerful emotional bond is created.

Values build culture, and culture feeds (or alienates) employees. Do your employees know the essence of your company’s core values? Are they aware of your Purpose and what you believe? Has your company specified the behaviors for each core value? Do your people know how you expect them to behave?

Customers experience your company through the actions of your people so ensure that you clearly describe the behaviors you expect. What do you mean when you proclaim core values like “exceptional customer service” or “high quality” or “initiative” or “teamwork?” You may think that your people intuitively understand what you expect when they read your core values, but usually they do not. In the absence of clear, well-defined behaviors, each manager or supervisor is left to interpret your core principles in their own way, based on their own experience. As a result, your employees receive different messages about expected behaviors from different managers.

When all personnel have a common understanding about your expectations for their behavior and when you manage them in accordance with these expectations, a powerful collaborative culture is built. Employees feel connected, engaged, and passionate about your business – they know what you expect and focus on performance. Customers experience this competency and dedication – it enables their trust.

It has been proven many times over that successful growth companies are built by consistently operating in accordance with their core values.

“Everything else about a business may change over time – its technology, financial resources, structure or timing – but when the people in the company robustly believe in its basic principles and consistently demonstrate them, then that business achieves sustained growth.”
(Built to Last, Collins and Porras)

How clearly have you specified the expected behaviors associated with your core values?

How do you ensure that your employees act in accordance with your expected behaviors?

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