3 Steps for a Successful Core Values Implementation Plan
Prioritizing company culture and core values has become more important than ever. In fact, according to a recent Atlassian study, 49% of employees in the U.S. would leave a job or their organization if their employer’s values did not align with their own.
So how can you attract and retain employees who share this mindset? You start by identifying values that are true to your culture and employee experience – and then making them real.
Once you have established core values or uncovered new ones that better resonate with your current culture, it’s time to develop a thoughtful approach to introducing and operationalizing them within your organization.
Here’s how you can get started in three steps:
1. TACKLE the culture CHANGE HEAD-ON
Like any change, big or small, it takes more than a company email to help employees understand what’s changing, how this change will affect them, and what they need to do next.
You need a change communication plan to help employees navigate and embrace the change, build understanding around the ‘why,’ and outline the impact.
CONSIDER USING THE THREE LEVELS OF CHANGE INTELLIGENCE AS YOUR NORTH STAR.
- At a head level, employees clearly understand the why behind the change and the part they play.
- At a heart level, employees are inspired and motivated to give their best.
- At a hands level, employees have the skills and tools to execute the change.
2. CREATE A CHANGE COMMUNICATION PLAN for your values
Now that you have a framework in mind, let’s start planning! Here are some key components you should include:
💡 PRO TIP: As you’re creating a change communication plan and brainstorming tactics, consider tying each action to one or more of the Change Intelligence levels (Head, Heart and/or Hands).
This additional step will help you ensure teams charged with leading the change feel empowered by the path ahead and armed with a clear plan to engage their colleagues.
3. DEVELOP A TWO-PART APPROACH FOR the values roll out
While most of the steps mentioned above are standard elements of a change communication plan, the key to driving better adoption and engagement is your tactical approach.
To ease employees into the new values, we recommend using a two-part approach:
PART ONE: Introduce the new values, emphasize the change, and address the impact on employees. This includes:
- Equipping leaders, managers and change champions with the right tools and resources to cascade information and answer employees’ questions.
- Rolling them out to employees through town halls, communications and supporting resources. (And by the way, this shouldn’t be the first-time employees hear that the values have been refreshed! Be sure to keep them engaged and in the know as you conduct research and share your findings.)
PART TWO: Operationalize YOUR new COMPANY values within each moment in the employee lifecycle.
- Don't skip this part! Failing to attach behaviors to values or stopping at a communications campaign are common pitfalls we see tripping up organizations
- This will look a bit different based on your organization but could include things like a values-based recognition program (see ours for quick inspo!), values-based competencies and performance management, or a values-themed storytelling campaign.
💡 PRO TIP: Conduct a pre-work session WITH YOUR TEAM to understand:
- What do you want current and prospective employees to know, feel and do as a result of the new values?
- What programs are currently in place for each moment in the employee lifecycle, and what key stakeholders are involved?
- What channels exist today and what do they accomplish?
You don’t have to go at it alone!
Change is hard. No matter who you are, where you are or what your role is, you must go beyond communicating facts and figures to be effective, especially when it comes to rolling out new values.
But if you start by identifying values that are true to your culture, and then tackle the change head-on with a thorough change communication plan and tactical approach to make those values real, you’ll be in a better position to make your values more than words on the wall. Be patient, and remember that moving the needle will not happen overnight.
We can help you create employee experiences that truly resonate and bring key stakeholders along for the journey. Drop us a line. We love this work!