Transforming Workplace Values

Leonor Urena

How to transform workplace values

You could have the most talented team in the country, but unless you have simple, effective and engaging workplace values, then your team may only ever produce mediocre results. Workplace values are the guiding principles that illustrate the most important things about the way your business works. Not only do workplace values set the tone of your company culture, but they also outline what your company truly cares about within your working environment. This can include qualities such as:

  • Being honest

  • Being reliable

  • Respecting co-workers

  • Being tolerant

  • Encouraging ideas

  • Meeting deadlines

  • Holding one another accountable

Most businesses choose between three and twelve values, with five being the average. The most important thing is that values need to be simple and memorable – things that can seem like common sense, but need to be written down in black and white so that all employees at every level know what is expected of them.

Workplace values are vital for successful teams

As we know, teamwork is the backbone of every business. Agile methodology places emphasis on creating the right environment to so that teams can become effective, efficient and highly successful. Workplace values are a large element of this. A great culture and business environment supports teams to:

  • Understand one another

  • Create a common sense of purpose

  • Engage with the project and tasks at hand

  • Take ownership of their work

  • Build epic working relationships with their co-workers

If your team can achieve the qualities listed above, then you can be pretty sure that you are on the right path for delivering a top quality project.

Out with the old and in with the new

So surely your business can come up with some awesome new values, write them in your company handbook and procedures, let your teams know and start to reap the success of having workplace value in place, right? WRONG! Whether they are written down or not, whether they are recognized as business values or not, your business will already have certain ‘expectations’ and ‘protocols’ in place for how it is run day to day. The trouble is that challenging the old ways can require a leap of faith, and many employees are resistant to change. As a result, often businesses find it difficult to make the transition from the ‘old’ values to the new ones.

 Embedding a new system of workplace values

Just because businesses find it difficult to transform workplace values, it doesn’t mean it is impossible – far from it! However, there are certain things that are absolutely vital to put into place in order to be able to make the transition successfully.

 Explain the reasons for the change

The days of successful businesses being dictatorships are long gone. Employees might still blindly follow ‘orders’ without understanding the reasons behind them, but they certainly won’t be as committed and engaged doing so. It is crucial for senior leaders and management to explain the reasons behind making the change and the benefit that it will bring to the team, the culture and the business as a whole.  

Role model the desired behavior

Setting an example to your team is another fundamental principle of transforming workplace values. How can you expect your employees to meet deadlines if you fail to do so? Why should they be honest with you if you can’t be honest with them? All management and senior staff should be committed to modelling the behavior-led values that they wish to embed, and willing to be challenged or confronted should they fail to do so. This also builds a foundation of trust, which increases employee engagement and productivity.

Recognize and reward

A little recognition goes a long way when it comes to managing teams of people. Agile philosophies recognize the importance of recognition and reward for improving motivation, fostering company loyalty and producing better results, and this shouldn’t just be limited to the actual work produced. Rewarding team members whose actions and accomplishments reflect these new values can encourage others who may be struggling to make the transition, and also reaffirm the importance of the new values in the eyes of the team.

Getting support

Do you think your business needs a culture change? Are your teams just not working well together? Is your company just coasting and would benefit from a shake-up? If any of these sound familiar to you then it could well mean that the workplace values in your business need a transformation. Even if you aren’t sure, we can guarantee you would benefit from a consultation with one of our Agile coaches. Contact us today and find out how Agile can transform your business from the inside; out.

About our guest writer

Sustainable Games
I am an Agile coach with a passion to help teams to collaborate, strategize, cooperate and to deliver solutions that are in direct support of strategic initiatives. An agile transition is all about people and interactions and that is my concentration. I apply gamification, and proven techniques to motivate teams. Through these techniques I support teams to drive specific behaviors that contribute towards more effective, productive and harmonious working relationships regardless of the methodology or framework used.

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