The second in a series of two posts
Last time I shared how values are a key part of any company’s competitive strategy. This series of posts is inspired by my new book, “The 100: Building Blocks for Business Leadership.” Today I’ll delve deeper into the role of values as a strategic tool for building a strong team and giving your company a competitive advantage in the process.
After your company has clearly identified the values that set it apart from competitors, you should begin articulating your values internally on a regular basis. Don’t be like Ole in the old Ole and Lena joke:
Lena: “Why don’t you ever tell me that you love me Ole?”
Ole: “I told you I love you the day we got married. If it changes I’ll let you know.”
To be authentic, people and companies need to articulate what they care about early and often. At Intertech, we have devised the following value statements, which are posted on signs and regularly included in our employee newsletter:
Attitude: Each day we choose our attitude. Attitude is contagious. For others to be positive, excited and inspired we must be so.
Commitment: As a team, we deliver. We demand more of ourselves than others could ask.
Excellence: We’re committed to providing a world-class customer experience that results in world-class customer satisfaction.
Words are important. Words in action are powerful. So find ways to make the words describing your values mean something tangible, then sit back and be amazed. That’s what happened at Intertech when we created the ACE program. ACE is an acronym for our values and it’s how we make our values comes alive every day. The program encourages team members to nominate fellow team members who are “caught” living one of our core values.
ACE nominations are included in our weekly newsletter. Four times a year, we host company-wide meetings in which employees who either nominated someone or were nominated themselves, have the chance to win gift cards through drawings.
Once a year we host the ACE awards (sort of like the Academy Awards but without the tuxedos, champagne or George Clooney!). ACE award categories include: Top ACE, top ACE nominator, and top Rookie ACE (the newest employee who received the most ACE nominations).
It might sound silly to outsiders, but being called an “ACE” at Intertech means a lot to our people. The results: increased camaraderie, satisfied customers, revenues that consistently exceed expectations and very low employee turnover.
There are countless ways to recognize and reward employees who embody your company values. Doing this, with the full support of senior management, will communicate volumes to employees about the importance of company values while helping keep them alive as a powerful force within your organization.
Next time: Strategy and Goals: You can’t have one with the other!