Value Statements, mission statements, retreats, and branding exercises are often considered luxuries that small business owners will simply slide off of their radar. After all, there are so many more important things to do, right?!?
The short answer is, yes. There are many important things to do. Until there is a crisis, conflict….or even a client interaction. Then, this collective verbalization of what is important to us, what we strive for, and what we can expect from our leaders and peers becomes the foundation for success.
There are always metrics that are analytically trackable: sales, financials, all the numbers, right? But when it comes to measuring the alignment of organizational values in a small business what are you supposed to look for?
Here it comes….feelings.
OH, YOU KNOW HOW I LOVE TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS!
Check in with your team, and at different times:
To understand the adoption of values in your business it’s critical to check in with your team and learn if what you thought would be important about your values is resonating with them. As a leader, when you set the values for your org you set them through one filter – yours. But your values, have no guarantee of aligning with the person across the table. When we asked our new admin, who had been with us for about 90 days, Song said, “The concept of professional love was completely new to me. very few of my past employers have been as kind and invested in me and my goals in life, not just professionally but personally as well.”
Wow. After 90 days one of our team members knew that we cared about her as a whole person. Professional Love. Check.
When we asked another team member how he was impacted, Ben’s response was, “I am excited about the creativity that I have experienced with how @revenue works with clients. Developing ways to creatively collaborate with clients fuels innovation and brings excitement to the marketing strategies that we provide.”
This felt like a completely different view of the same question, but it gave us an understanding of how he was absorbing what we thought we were communicating clearly.
Having those conversations and getting feedback gives you a place to open yourself to getting better. Speaking better. Professionally loving them better. So what is the impact of those values? They are a measuring stick for the leadership of your organization and an opportunity to openly communicate over more than just ‘is the task complete?’.
The deeper the understanding and engagement your team has around your values sets the tone for how they care for and communicate with your clients. Give them something to believe in…and then believe in them.