It started as an impromptu discussion about companies’ values. Of firms with which we’ve worked, how prominent and clear have their respective values been to all: employees and customers alike? Moreover, are they in evidence? After all, there was a time when their presence was opaque – effectively languishing in a drawer somewhere despite, perhaps, sincere efforts to produce them in the first place.
Today the majority of firms see the merit in having a handful of clear cut values ‘on the wall’ as it were. Nevertheless, what’s far more evident to staff on a daily basis are the behaviours that are typical of leaders, managers and peers around them. As David MacLeod of Engage for Success puts it, if behaviours consistently overlap with the values on display then a tangible sense of trust and integrity exists between people. If, however, people observe things differently (there’s a gap) then they are left second guessing the motives behind almost any agenda. If we can accept inputs at face value then our questions are merely to improve understanding. If we can’t, then we shall probably have more questions in an attempt to flush out hidden motives and eliminate doubts.
Unproductive certainly, but if such gaps are pervasive across an organisation then a significant restriction exists on attaining the highest levels of employee engagement and company performance.
Returning to Engage for Success, this aspect of values and trust emerged from their work several years ago as one of the Four Enablers which when taken together go to produce successful employee engagement. Just recently, Engage for Success revamped their website, with far more resources to help firms understand employee engagement and its benefits for people and business. What hasn’t changed and thus remain valid today are their Four Enablers. In fact there are new video presentations that strengthen their significance as a guide for organisations to examine their approach.