With the world shifting more towards remote workforces, the importance of company core values to achieve organizational alignment has never been greater. Directly proportional to that is the challenge of effectively integrating these values in a virtual work environment. Soon, organizations will no longer be able to get away with just “checking the box” when it comes to core values. To build a highly-productive culture that stands the test of uncertainty, an organization must correctly place core values at the foundation.

How can you make company values more meaningful and impactful? Here are the 7 most common mistakes to avoid and how to fix them:

1. Values aren’t actionable

Integrity, quality, excellence.. Do any of these sound familiar? Not to throw shade, but core values like these are not going to get the job done. They are too vague and don’t drive behavior. A recent Gallup study showed that only 23% of employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization’s values to their work everyday. Company values should be the backbone of everyday decision-making. Think of company values as a map or GPS. Every time an employee comes to a fork in the road, they should be able to call on a core value to help guide their decision to move in the right direction. For example, one of Facebook’s early core values was “move fast and break things”. This core value is in the form of a statement and helps inform action. It tells employees “we value speed over perfection and if you’re ever in a situation where there is a choice between the two, always choose speed”. Actionable core values always present a trade-off between two good things like speed or perfection. Generic core values aren’t very helpful because they’re usually no-brainers. Employees aren’t usually asking, “When faced with a choice between honesty or dishonesty, which one should I choose?”

2. Too many values

There’s a theory in psychology called “the Magic number 7 (plus or minus 2)”. This theory states that most adults can store between 5-9 items in their short-term memory. In order for people to understand your values and then be able to communicate them, it is vital that they remember what they are. If you have more than 9 company values, you aren’t doing your staff any favors. No matter how many you have, it might be a good idea to create an acronym out of your core values to make them easier to remember.

3. Values are an afterthought

Oftentimes core values are viewed by leadership as a box that needs to be checked. If they aren’t seen as strategic priority, your organization won’t put in the effort to create and communicate actionable values that will drive productive behavior. This can have an overall massive impact on your organization’s culture and bottom line. HR and People Ops leaders aren’t in charge of creating company values but they should definitely be pushing the management team to prioritize the creation, communication and measurement of them. By not being deliberate about embedding core values into an organization’s culture, “accidental” values surface and a huge opportunity is missed.

4. Values are under-communicated 

Posting company values on the office wall is not enough (especially if you have a remote workforce). This shouldn’t be a one-time event. To truly embed core values into your culture, it takes consistent action. You must find ways to promote your values in all forms of communication. This includes newsletters, Slack messages or channels, emails, town hall meetings etc. They should be seen so often that everybody knows what they are AND what it looks like to live them.

5. Values aren’t baked into hiring & onboarding

Piggybacking off the previous point, company values need to be communicated frequently and consistently. This is especially important when it comes to hiring and onboarding new employees. If you’re not giving proper weight to core values when someone is joining the company, they will see that as a sign that core values really aren’t that important to you. Your core values should be touted and marketed to prospective hires. Finding people who align well with these values will increase the likelihood of a good hire and save you headaches down the road. Find ways to weave your core values into onboarding and training. A great place to start is to create a “Culture Code” or “Culture Manifesto” - some slides that list your company’s core values and give examples of them in action. Here are some famous examples from Netflix and HubSpot - but don’t be overwhelmed, these are evolving documents so just start with something really basic and go from there.

6. Lack of value-based recognition 

The best way to make core values a living, breathing part of your organization’s culture is to create a value-based recognition program. By focusing all your recognition and reward efforts around core values, you are helping employees identify the personification of these values. Recognition is no longer given for just going “above and beyond” but is tied on a deeper level to company values, thus reinforcing them. This creates a virtuous cycle of positive, productive behaviors and a more focused workforce. 

7. Lack of measurement

Hopefully by now we can agree that core values are a vital element of an organization’s culture and that they can have an undeniable impact on the numbers that matter. To do it right, lots of effort and resources are dedicated to the integration of these values in the workforce. Imagine putting tons of work into something and not knowing what the results or outcomes are - this is how the majority of companies operate. They have no way to quantify which core values are being embraced most and which ones could use some attention. In a world where data is king, it is more important than ever to figure out how to capture and visualize this type of data to better inform your cultural decisions. Digital recognition and rewards platforms can help track and measure core value data to give you valuable insights. They allow employees to give each other shout-outs when core values are being displayed and each shout-out is tagged with a value. The tags allow this data to be tracked so you can view analytics to understand how your core values breakdown over time and on organizational, team or individual levels.

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'Tis the Season for Employee Rewards

{{ excerpt(`<span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>The Season of Rewarding is Upon Us</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>The Holidays are a magical time of the year when gifts are exchanged, vacation days are cashed in, and everyone gets fed up with their relatives. In this final month of the year employers have a tendency to be just as giving. Whether these are companywide gifts, gift cards, cash bonuses, extra PTO or other incentives, they generally roll in during this time of the year.&nbsp;</span><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>This traditional system of year-end bonuses is a tough way to keep employee engagement high. Spot bonuses are not great ways to incentivize people to work hard the rest of the year. Year-end employee rewards are something that encourage employees to increase productivity leading up to December but might not have the same effect on increasing urgency on January 1. Traditional employee reward methods are becoming obsolete.&nbsp;</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>How to Have Year-End Urgency in January</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Employee Recognition. How do you incentivize anyone? You tie them to team values and reward them when they live those values. Goals are good. Especially quantitative goals. Sales teams usually have a goal and reward when they hit that goal, as a collective group they are empowered and excited. Employee Recognition takes that empowerment and makes it personal. Rather than rewarding the entire group it lets the group reward one another as they strive to hit their goals. “Great job on that last call +10 points #slinging deals” is one of the examples of what happens internally at Nectar HR when our sales team gets rolling. Peer to peer recognition is the future of creating that year-round urgency that companies want.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>How to Recognize Employees</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer was kind of a chump. He got bullied until Santa gave him a shout out in front of all of his coworkers. Then they wrote a song about him and his productivity shot through the roof. Recognizing employees empowers them to take action and perform better work. Peer to Peer Recognition programs foster a community of empowered people. Engaging with one another is a positive way by micro bonuses and a social feed of shout outs intensifies the effect of giving a shout out because it is public, meaningful, and far more frequent. Recognize employees in a way that is meaningful and tied to company values “Rudolph you totally guided the sled tonight! We would have been lost without you! #team player +20 points”. Then let those points be tied to redeemable items that employees care about.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>How to Make a Cost-Effective Peer Recognition Program</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>At Nectar HR the number one thing that we hear constantly is “how much will it cost?” People are accustomed to platforms that are costly and sit on a high price per employee per month. Using Nectar, the cost is the budget that administrators allocate to their employees each month. Most companies have a recognition budget or buy gift cards on a regular basis to reward their employees. By eliminating physical gift cards and handing the budget to the employees you have created a peer to peer recognition program that is more effective and saves money. Don’t pay for things you don’t need or use. Nectar HR is customizable so it can fit your exact needs.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Does Employee Engagement Work?</span><br><br>There are statistics that I could use to <em>prove</em> how well Employee Engagement works but here is the logical breakdown of why peer to peer recognition and our employee engagement platform work:<br><ul><li>You are rewarding employees on a more frequent basis. You have added an entire new system of micro bonuses that can be handed out at any time during the month and then resets each month</li><li>Peer to peer recognition empowers everyone to recognize everyone. 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What Motivates Employees to Stay

{{ excerpt(`<span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Employee turnover is at an all-time high in the modern workforce. Employees are demanding more and more freedom (thanks millennials) and the number of remote workers has nearly doubled in the last few years. What all this means for companies is that it is harder and harder to stand out in every moving workplace. The trends are shifting from candidates attempting to stand out to businesses needed to sell themselves to candidates in order to succeed. So, what are the things that help employee retention? How can employers capture their target audience? Here is a list of things that motivate employees to stay at their companies:</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>#1 It’s Not Money – Employee Engagement</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>In a recent Harvard Business Study, it was found that the number one reason that employees remain at their jobs is that they are engaged. Employee engagement matters! This is the era of options. Gone are the days of slogging through the snow uphill to work, both ways. Now if an employee is not engaged money is not enough to retain them because someone else will pay them. Skilled labor is readily available and so are job positions. Employee engagement is now more pressing than the number on the direct deposit slip, and according to another recent study, only 32% of the modern workforce is engaged.&nbsp;</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>How to Have High Employee Engagement?</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Invest, invest, invest. We aren’t talking about just buying ping-pong tables and stocking the breakroom (still not a bad idea). Invest in your employee’s future. Train them to be better at their jobs, provide them with a pathway to success, and make sure that your companies values tie in with their personal values and vision. A company without values is like a chicken with its head cut-off. Employees need to buy in to the vision in order to be engaged and find success in their work.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>#2 Still Not Money – Feeling Valued</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Guess what? People want to feel valued and recognized. That should not be a shock to any HR team in any section of the world. Employee’s wanting to feel respected for their work and know that their managers and teammates appreciate them. Employees who receive this kind of daily peer-to-peer recognition are more likely to not only be engaged but also to feel appreciated. Employee recognition is one of the hardest things for companies to implement and maintain at a healthy level.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>How to Set Up a Good Employee Recognition Program?</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Let the experts handle it. Lots of companies have tried using things like post-it notes, marbles in a jar, redeemable tickets at work, and other ways to show appreciation. Most programs like this are either under-utilized or ineffective. There are lots of options for employee recognition platforms. Nectar HR is one of these. It is a free employee engagement program that works for recognition, perks, rewards, and employee feedback. Finding a cost-effective way to engage employees is key to creating a great workplace culture and retaining employees.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>#3 Work-life integration</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>This is one of the latest company culture buzzwords. It used to be a matter of finding the appropriate work-life balance, but more and more employees are wanting to feel that they are known and appreciated on a personal level. Treating employees on a personal level encourages an emotional connection between employees and company. This promotes employee retention and employee engagement. By establishing an emotional connection between employee and company you provide a powerful reason beyond monetary compensation for remaining at a company rather than look for a better situation.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>The old strategies of spot bonuses and employee of the month are quickly losing their effectiveness as far as recognition goes. High employee turnover can be very costly and time consuming to try and replace people. Taking advantage of employee engagement programs builds loyalty and retention in the workplace.&nbsp;</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>Quick Recap:</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Money is a secondary cause of employees staying. 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Moving away from traditional methods is the key to surviving and saving money in this new age of business.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Find out more at <a href="http://www.nectarhr.com">www.nectarhr.com</a></span>`) }} ...

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Employee Recognition Programs for Any Sized Business

{{ excerpt(`<span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Recognition for Any Size</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Employee Recognition is a movement that is growing. Company Culture is quickly becoming one of the top recruiting tools and is without a doubt the number one retention tool. Glassdoor reviews that dog on culture are crippling companies. Creating company culture is vital to having a productive and successful company, especially if you have a small or medium sized business that is growing. So why don’t all companies have a great culture?</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Culture Challenges</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Building a great company culture requires more than catered lunches or cool perks, those are great tools, but it is deeper. It requires employees to feel wanted and appreciated. More and more companies are adopting titles like “Culture Specialist” or “People and Culture” in an attempt to create programs or initiatives that will allow their company culture to grow and improve. These employees are not equipped with the right tools to establish a company culture program. Small and medium sized businesses do not have the budget to create their own program, and if they do, they are going to end up losing money on cost ineffective methods.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>The Old Way</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>In the past in order to have an employee culture or employee recognition program you needed to be a Google, who spends 80 million a year just on food. Companies of 500+ employees needed to pay between $5 and $12 a month for rewards or recognition programs that were limited to digitizing spot bonuses. Spot bonuses were the king of recognition. Employees worked to receive these bonuses but never new if or when they would come. Other traditional methods are setting goals like “you can go home early if…” or “company party if we sell” these methods work as short-term incentives and may motivate employees for a brief period. Employee engagement has never been lower across all companies are part of this is the epidemic of spot bonuses and other bonuses. Rather than shoveling more money on top of employees it is time to allow them to feel recognized, respected, and needed in their current positions.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Peer Recognition is the New King</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Peer-to-Peer Recognition is the new guy in town. Companies are adopting different systems to allow employees to recognize their peers for jobs well done. The benefits of having a peer-to-peer recognition program are that employees feel appreciated by their team and validated for their work. Companies have been doing this over time with any number of ways in past from placing marbles in jars, giving redeemable tickets, and other programs. The reason for these initiatives is that most companies who sell recognition software require large budgets to cover the platform itself and all initiatives to reward employees. This is costly for all companies but especially for companies that are below 500 employees and so they remain using their spot bonuses to try and compete.&nbsp;</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>How to Set Up a Recognition Program&nbsp;</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Setting up a recognition program can be time consuming and difficult, especially if you are a small HR team. You have to determine best practices and what makes the most sense to reward employees. Employee Feedback systems are a must to understand what is working and what is failing. Employee Perks go hand and hand with Employee Rewards as well as employees want to see that being enrolled in the program is worth it. All-in-all setting up your very own recognition program is a hassle that most would prefer to avoid.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>What’s the Solution?</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Nectar HR is the solution. The founders of Nectar HR recognized that there was a flaw in recognition platforms. Most companies are driven by an enterprise selling business model that requires multiple conversations with a specialist to even make a sale and then weeks of implementation. As a result the only companies that make their time worth it and turn a profit are large companies. They don’t have a solution for the average sized company and so there is a massive disconnect. Enter Nectar. Nectar HR launched a free Employee Engagement Platform, complete with Peer-to-Peer Recogniton, Employee Rewards, Employee Perks, and Employee Feedback. Nectar HR realized that smaller HR teams didn’t have access to the tools that came from most Employee Recognition Companies. They also made the implementation of their platform completely self-service. Signing up for Nectar takes 3 steps and that includes onboarding your entire company.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Why Use Nectar?</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Company Culture has a direct relationship with employee retention. Every industry is moving towards the need to recognize employees (you can thank us millennials for that). Using Nectar is a cost effective way to launch an employee recognition program without having to pull out your hair. Nectar HR allows companies to take their existing recognition initiatives (gift cards or spot bonuses) and plug that directly in to their platform to create a more organized and involved system. Small and Medium sized businesses need a recognition solution that fits them, and Nectar HR is that Solution.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Sign up today at <a href="http://www.nectarhr.com"><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>www.nectarhr.com</span></a></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><img src="https://i.froala.com/download/312eaac0492f9b7804e90f810bc62a028fd7cef0.png?1573660733" style="width: 444px; height: 259.717px;" class="fr-fic fr-dib"></span></span><br>`) }} ...

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