So, you've rolled out your Core Values to your organization, and now you’re wondering, “What now?”. Whether you are a “mom & pop” shop or a large company, any big initiative that you roll out to all your people takes a lot of effort! Here's what to do next…
I’ve learned that as you wrap up your meeting and turn off the lights in the meeting room, it’s time to turn on your efforts to follow up with your people!
In previous blog posts, I shared how I introduced Our Values at a QIC-Day. Then one month later, we had a follow-up QIC-Day where our “Value Leaders” presented “how” we, as a company, were “living out” and should “live out” Our Values every day.
Those meetings were important. I used them to introduce Our Values to the team and tap the leadership thinking and participation of our people. But I believe what happened after the second meeting was key to our successful Core Values roll out.
The secret to the success of great leaders is the time they spend on the follow-up and follow-through of an event or a decision. – Bobby Albert
Every leader can improve their leadership by using the following five follow-up strategies with their people.
Management by Walking Around (MBWA)
Immediately after our QIC-Day meeting, I did my MBWA. I took time to walk around and talk with our employees. I wanted to connect with our people about Our Values, and their experiences from the last two QIC-Days. I wanted to know what they learned, what they thought about Our Values, and how could we improve.
Observation: When the leader of the organization sincerely spends time talking with a front-line person…
• They each see each other as real people.
• Relationships are enhanced, and the front-line person’s self-esteem takes a major jump. When employees feel good about themselves, strong results follow.
• The leader gains new insights about the business’s customers and learns what is really going on in the “trenches”.
Immediately after our QIC-Day, I wrote personal thank you notes to those who were major contributors to the meeting. I also went to those with other roles and personally thanked them.
Insight: I’ve learned that employees appreciate written and verbal “thank you’s” when they have helped with a special event or meeting. They want to know you appreciate their efforts outside their normal day-to-day responsibilities.
I asked the Value Leaders and their teams to help assure behaviors continued to be aligned with Our Values. I also asked them to lead the implementation of any ideas that emerged from their team discussions to ensure no gaps in our behaviors.
Observation: Don’t underestimate the value of distributed leadership! The Value Leaders and their teams ended up being our biggest internal cheerleaders of Our Values. They kept Our Values front and center through-out the organization.
VIP (Values In Practice)
We started looking across the organization continuously to recognize people as a “VIP” by catching them putting one of Our Values into practice.
Tip: What gets recognized gets repeated! When you look for ways to affirm the “living out” of your Core Values, people start to understand how to apply the Core Values to their everyday job. Plus, the recognition creates a desire to repeat the desired behavior again, and again and again!
Inner-Circle (Executive Team)
Every week when my executive team met for our business lunch, Our Values were the top topic of our agenda. For the values to become meaningful, I understood we needed to talk about them at every opportunity.
Propagating your Core Values to your entire organization starts with the key leaders at the top.
Observation: If you get them involved in the early stages of the process, your key leaders will become your company-wide champions of a new message or initiative.
I’ve highlighted five ways to connect with and lead your people. These strategies helped me roll out Our Values to our people, and they can help you too!
What’s one strategy you have used to connect with employees and reinforce the Core Values of your organization? Leave a comment by clicking here.