Most of us that have occupied the cubicles of corporate America have experienced the paradox of company values. They grace the walls of the office, are read in new-hire documents and sales support and heard talked about during all-staff meetings.
They're meant with the best of intentions. They're intended to guide and measure and provide character reflection for how the company intends to hold itself.
Infrequent does that intention and impact measure up. Perhaps that's because values are infrequently reinforced. Perhaps, in reality, company values often show up as their opposite: everyone for themselves vs. teamwork; reactionary vs. visionary. This is often the case, albeit unintended. Yet the bigger paradox (and impact) of company values exists elsewhere.
The greatest impact of company values is when they're reflected back on your people.
Company values become valuable to an employer when they're meaningful to an employee–when they're reflected on and connected to them. When values are felt, something magical happens. "Bigger-than-self" happens. Our individual motivations change from me, first, to us, first.
If you're a manager or a leader in an organization, be a catalyst for your people to feel your company values. Why? Doing so transitions you from a manager by appointment to a leader by choice. Add value to your company's values by helping your people feel valuable.
What's my motivation to write and share this post? Psychological safety. Behind all of this is an innate desire to feel and to help others feel safe to engage in life, better. The workplace is ground zero for this. It's a massive opportunity to provide psychological safety for others, which in turn, reflects back on us.
If you're interested in discovering more of your positive leadership, I'd like to help you find your way.