3 Steps for a Successful Core Values Implementation Plan

October 25, 2022

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. 

  • 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.


Now that you have a framework in mind, let’s start planning! Here are some key components you should include:



1. Situation analysis – Set the context and get leaders, managers and employees on the same page

  • What brought about this change?
  • Where are you now?

2. Communication objectives – Describe the desired outcome and establish a commitment

  • What do you hope to accomplish?

3. Strategies – Outline your approach to meeting your objectives

  • What is your plan of action?
  • What will it take to achieve your objectives?

4. Stakeholders – Segment your audience by impact

  • How will this change affect leaders, managers, employees and customers?

5. Key messages – Share consistent and focused information

  • What’s changing?
  • Why are we changing it?
  • How will employees be impacted?

6. Tactics – Bring the change to life

  • How will you explain the changes for key stakeholders?
  • How will you create awareness and excitement for key stakeholders?
  • How will you ensure consistency?
  • How will you communicate roles and responsibilities to key stakeholders charged with cascading information (i.e., leaders, managers, change champions, etc.)?

7. Measure – Ensure you’re moving the needle against your objectives

  • How will you measure your success?
  • What tools do you have available?

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.  

Read our Blog: Creating Values True To Your Culture

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.
💡 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!  

For more bite-sized brilliance, be sure to subscribe to our monthly employee experience newsletter, the Inkwell, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest!

Download Our Guide for Creating and Promoting Core Values in the Workplace
Maira Sarwar-Sheikh

You might also like

How To Refresh Company Core Values

Your core values tell employees and customers who you are. Here are the steps to refresh your core values.

Read more
7 AI Tools For Internal Communicators

With AI at our fingertips, we’re working smarter and faster. Learn how artificial intelligence (AI) can supercharge your IC toolkit and transform the way you work.

Read more
4 Common Problems With Your Employee Surveys

If your survey is flawed, your data is flawed. We're showing you 4 key engagement survey mistakes and how to fix them. Learn how to launch winning employee surveys.

Read more