Looking to launch or promote your company Core Values? By incorporating the following principles into your design thinking when planning your Core Values launch and follow up events, you can successfully achieve your aims: to inform, interest, involve, and inspire your people to live the values every day!
Core Values and Behaviours are the DNA of an organization.
As Patrick Lencioni notes, adhering to a meaningful set of values can set a company apart from the competition by clarifying its identity and serving as a rallying point for employees.
But no matter how great a company’s values are, they need to be put into practice. Values need to be lived, not pinned to the wall.
In order to educate, promote, and embed the values across the organization, most leaders organize a launch or a campaign. These events have become a staple event at companies around the world. But how do you execute them well? How can you strike the right balance between raising awareness, fostering understanding, and promoting application?
Here are some vital principles we’ve picked up while helping international organizations launch and roll out their Core Values and Behaviours in more fun and engaging ways.
Core Values launch and promotion events are ideal opportunities to get your whole organization together, whether physically or virtually.
This will ensure you launch your values in a commensurate way across the business.
Because it’s no good if your team in North America are living the Core Values, while your team in Europe has never heard of them. Or if your head office has a strong understanding of how to live the value “We go the extra mile”, but your customer-facing colleagues are unaware or unable to apply it.
As well as providing a chance to connect and build your team spirit, bringing people together to share well-designed moments and peer-to-peer learning experiences will help them retain the information better.
After all the time you’ve spent crafting your Core Values and Behaviours, you want EVERYONE in the organization to understand and apply them.
So come together to spend some time focusing on the topic. Our core values launch games are designed for virtual and in-person roll-outs, perfect for when launching to distributed teams spread across multiple countries and sites, or to connect staff working from home and in office locations.
If people remember your launch event, they’re more likely to remember the values too.
What isn’t exciting? PowerPoint presentations, printouts, town hall meetings, more PowerPoints…
What is exciting? Teambuilding activities, interactive discussions, games (like our Core Values Escape Room), competitions, and active peer-to-peer learning experiences.
Create those memorable moments, generate excitement, and use the momentum to help embed the Core Values and Behaviours moving forward. Bring your company values to life!
If you want everyone to live these values, you need to make them speak to everyone.
Not too vague – as Simon Sinek explains, values need to be actionable, and he recommends using verbs – doing words – rather than more abstract nouns.
Not too “cookie-cutter” so you sound like every other company.
Once you have your values, inform and educate your staff by keeping your explanations simple, relevant, and engaging.
Most importantly, make it tangible. In order to live values, you need to understand what they mean and how you can apply them on an everyday basis.
In our Core Values Launch Game we present realistic dilemmas to test application of the values, and ask questions like: “What actions could you take, starting tomorrow, to better live the value?”
Turn your staff from passive to active learners by inviting them to discuss, vote, play, and collaborate.
Getting people involved will help achieve buy-in across your organization, encouraging the kinds of discussions that promote better understanding and application of concepts like Core Values and Behaviours.
Use storytelling to bring your company values to life, and encourage your team to share their own stories with each other while you’re spending time together during the launch.
By thinking about them from different perspectives, your team will have a better idea of how to live the values on a daily basis, thereby embedding them within your company culture.
Ask for feedback from participants during your Core Values launch events, and use the data to identify any areas you need to work more on.
Feedback questions also provide moments of reflection for your colleagues, allowing them to process the learning materials at their own pace.
You cannot expect one Core Values launch event or game to get the job done completely.
Successful implementation and embedding of the values and behaviours relies upon consistency and repetition.
Onboarding is the ideal time to start introducing the values – check out these tips on how to communicate the values to new employees, and our inspiring agenda for your next Onboarding Day, with culture and values front and centre!
Keep the Core Values and Behaviours at the forefront of the discussion by organizing frequent top up events and refreshers after the initial launch.
Should you opt for one of our Core Values Launch games, there are a few practicalities to consider to make your event run as smoothly and successfully as possible:
Cascading roll-out – Run a soft launch to a group of your leaders before rolling out the game across your entire organization. This pilot run will provide a chance to gather some initial feedback, achieve greater buy-in and awareness of the initiative, and test your event practicalities during a live session.
Language translations – Translating your content into different languages is important when launching your Core Values across multiple countries. Leading pharmaceutical company STADA translated its “Connect4Values” game into 20 different languages to open up the initiative to all employees across their diverse international organization, and their efforts were rewarded with significantly increased engagement. Over 5000 players completed the challenge within the first month!
Adapt content for different types of teams – Strike the right balance between achieving a commensurate launch for all employees and tailoring content to be relevant to different types of teams. Your marketing team at HQ and your manufacturing team at a factory both need to understand and live your company values, but they will be applying them in different ways to very different situations. Adapt your content so that it speaks to them in ways that feel relevant.
Follow up – As a wise sage once said, “one game does not a company culture make” (or was it swallows and summer?) – you get the point! Run multiple games and follow up events to reinforce the Values and add variety to your sessions. Building a strong inclusive Values-led culture is more of a journey rather than a destination – it’ll never be finished, and you need to keep working at it.
Values need to be lived, not pinned to the wall. In order to educate your colleagues and embed the values across the organization, create engaging and meaningful events to launch and promote the Core Values and Behaviours.
By incorporating some or all of these design principles into your thinking when planning these events, you can successfully achieve your aims: to inform, interest, involve, and inspire your people to live the values every day.