How to drive a compelling set of values

How can HR and the CEO create an organisation with clear values and purpose that lives and breathes this on a daily basis?

How to drive a compelling set of values
“Having a clear set of values will become a business imperative as opposed to a nice-to-have. This is a very interesting challenge for CEOs and organisational leaders.”
Martijn Schouten, director of PwC South East Asia Consulting (SEAC), said that a starting point to developing these values was having more awareness and consciousness of how they are seen throughout the organisation.
“We can see beautifully framed posters with company values hanging in the corridors but what matters is to what extent everyday behaviour is really aligned with these values.”
It is important for CEOs and HR to understand how the “the way we do things” is lined up with the values deemed important.
“What are the gaps between what we say or put on posters and how we behave? How I behave as a leader – how does that align with the values I think are important for our organisation?”
Because corporate culture is linked to a group of values, transforming these values and transforming the leadership is often a starting point to demonstrate the right type of behaviour, he said.
Once awareness has been raised, both HR and the CEO can then bring up a discussion about the difference between the stated values and the behaviour being demonstrated daily.
“A way to raise the dialogue and address behaviour is to find good examples of what we like to call ‘moments of matter’.”
For instance if integrity is important, find examples of actions that demonstrate this quality, Schouten said. This will give an example to align the rest of the organisation with these values.
“We see organisations that really take this seriously. They start with leadership transformation and then use that as a stepping stone to demonstrate to staff about how they need to behave and align with the company’s values.”
Related stories:
Leading HR strategies from APAC’s top employer
Why the wrong cultural fit can be a disaster
How to secure employee buy-in for major cultural change

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