The power of values comes from a purposeful and intentional effort to live them each day -- individually and organizationally. Take a moment and reflect on your organization's values… do you know what they are? Are they just listed on a poster somewhere and never discussed? While sadly that's the truth at too many agencies, we're honored to work with some incredible agencies that are embracing organizational values to engage their workforces, inspire culture change, and achieve excellence.
Read on for examples of two values-driven organizations:
- Lane Transit District in Eugene, OR, is leveraging the strategic planning process to increase employee engagement through an inclusive and collaborative approach to identifying organizational values. At their virtual "Inside the Bus" forums, which are open to all employees and recorded for those who can't attend live, members of the LTD Leadership Team facilitated exercises in breakout groups to discuss what behaviors were represented by a particular value -- like Respect, Collaboration, and Diversity -- as well as what behaviors are present when those values are not being demonstrated. Through this and other team-level discussions, value statements are being crafted that reflect the sentiments of employees across departments, different roles, and perspectives -- ultimately creating more meaningful values that the whole organization believes in.
- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has incorporated its 7 organizational values into the CEO's performance appraisal, balancing objective performance criteria with values-based criteria for a holistic approach to the evaluation process. Each Board member rates how well they believe the CEO demonstrates each of the values in their interactions with the Board, community, customers, and employees. There is also an opportunity for Board members to submit comments to explain their rating, offering the CEO specific information on what is working and what could use improvement. This balanced approach guards against having a rockstar performer on the metrics side that leaves collateral damage in their wake due to poor adherence to values. GCRTA understands that both elements are important to long-term success.
When done well, the development and cultivation of organizational values can be a critical driver of higher levels of employee engagement and a culture of ownership -- where hearts and minds of the workforce are inspired to achieve excellence.