Well-written values make hiring easier, reduce employee turnover and engage people close in spirit to your business. However, the stereotyped approach to developing corporate values leads to people forgetting about them immediately after the interview, leaving only a couple of individuals in HR who know where the “Our Values” page is on the company website.
But doing your values right can have amazing benefits. Implementing corporate values and other workflow enhancements at my company, Parimatch Tech, led to a drop in employee turnover in tech teams from 45% to 14% and helped increase engagement in corporate activities. Moreover, the number of employees invited through the referral program increased by 30%.
Here’s how my company went through the value-development transformation to get where we are today.
Trust value development in employees
The development of corporate values frequently falls on the founders or the HR department. The process usually involves colleagues brainstorming, coming up with a couple of ideas around which they put together a presentation or video, upload it to the “About Us” page, and that’s it.
Values will be viable if you entrust people with developing them. Employees who already know the company, its strengths and weaknesses, its people, and the company spirit can be of tremendous help. Yes, members of top management and HR should be there, but they should also be with representatives from other departments.
For example, at Parimatch Tech, we’ve developed a step-by-step system for identifying company values:
Survey all employees to find out which three of the company’s core values they would highlight.
Bring together key company employees and opinion leaders to develop fundamental and understandable values.
Test ideas on employee focus groups to confirm or reject suggested options.
Turn value creation into a game or adventure
This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but a change of scenery does help generate fresh ideas. You can also invite facilitators to support a meeting and figure out key queries and topics.
That’s how we brought together managers, team leaders and company influencers to plan and live our values. We equated creating values with the conquest of some lofty summit.
Abstraction from the day-to-day routine, new circumstances and emotional context opened colleagues’ minds and generated fresh ideas. Team spirit and enthusiasm helped virtually everyone develop values; it also united the team while avoiding corporate cliches.