To maximize service and long-term sustainability an organization must align values, actions and behaviors so that they serve customers, employees and shareholders. For the next few weeks, I plan to discuss how to build or strengthen your organization’s culture to maximize customer service, sustainable growth and employee satisfaction.
Value your Values
Those sound like a good set of values on the surface don’t they? These values were prominently displayed in the lobby of disgraced and bankrupt energy company Enron. Many executives at Enron were indicted for a variety of charges and were later sentenced to prison.
Obviously, they did not value their “values. Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say, “We will strive to make as much money as we can without going to prison and we don’t care who we hurt in the process.”
I took a course in negotiating once and learned the phrase “Listen to what they say, but watch their feet.” Trust me when I tell you that your employees, customers and business partners all subconsciously are always “watching your feet”.
Values that are not lived every day from the top down, are not values, they are what a friend of mine calls “marketing puffery”. They look good in a brochure, website or on the lobby wall, but have little to do with what is truly valued.
Your actual company values can be seen by who is hired, who stays, who goes and who is recognized and promoted. An organization’s real values are the behaviors and skills that are valued in fellow employees.
I challenge you to make a list of your values, Enron’s and your nearest competitor, and then ask your employees to rank them as they pertain to your organization. Will they choose your values because they are demonstrated every day?
Review your company values and do some real soul-searching and discover what your customers and people need you to value and if you they are demonstrated at every opportunity.Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers. http://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/philvanover/ He works with organizations and individuals to increase sales, productivity and profitability by helping them improve their leadership, sales and customer service skills. He offers workshops, seminars, speaking, and coaching on delivering extraordinary customer service, leadership, and personal development.