Searching for justification and meaning in work is necessary for emotional fulfilment. In our last article, we discussed the concept of "Why?" as explained by the business theorist Simon Sinek. Businesses with strong core beliefs not only provide this meaning to their business but also provide emotional support and gratification for the employees who share the visions of these core beliefs. As such, it is necessary for businesses to seek out employees who believe in their mission and their principles. And thus, a beneficial association of emotional wellbeing is attained.
Most companies and people know “how” they do what they do. A carpenter knows how to sand wood. Similarly, a company knows how it sells its product. The "How" is an extremely important part of business operation. However, when it comes to core values and the implementation thereof, it is easy to simply pay lip-service to them and try to justify how our everyday activities fit into those core values rather than making time to consciously enact those core values. The difference between "Why" and "How" in this regard is the vision and the mission statement. The "Why" addresses the vision and thus the intent of the business. "How" is summarised by the mission statement wherein details are provided in how the business enacts the "Why".
When addressing core values, a business needs a clear idea of how to engage with the values. It is no good to simply tell staff and customers to hold values of, for example, honesty or liberty. These values must be promoted and acted upon by members of the business. Jeff Ruby points out four ways of instilling core values:
- Encourage conversations about your core values
- Make your core values visible
- Recognise employees who emulate your core values
- Hold each member of your team accountable to your core values
Adherence to these methods can be done in many ways limited only by your creativity. It is important not only to envision positivity in the outcome but also through the implementation of the core values. Discussions can be engaging and interesting and workshops can be fun. Through this, employers and employees not only have something to strive for that goes beyond the physical purpose of the business, but they have methods of how to strive.
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Contributor: Greg Beyer
Researcher at Omni Academy for Education, Training and Development
Sinek, S. 2009. "Start with Why?". Portfolio.
Red Rock Leadership. https://redrockleadership.com/4-ways-to-instill-core-values-in-your-organization/ accessed 16 June 2020. Article by Ruby, J. 2017.