20 October 2016

How to define company values? #WorldValuesDay

Today is World Values Day and to celebrate we thought we’d share some simple workshop ideas that you can use to help you define your company’s values..

Having values within an organisation is so important (check out our post from last week which explores how 50% of people would turn down a job if their values didn’t match!).   But simply picking some words and sticking them on a poster isn’t going to cut it – they’ve got to resonate. That’s why getting employees involved at the very beginning of the process is so important.   It will create a sense of ownership and belonging to each value, and ensure that they are related to behaviours from the outset.   We find that small workshops of 10-12 people work best as it gives everyone a voice and time for all-important discussion, analysis…and banter!  

To get you going, here are a few activities and ideas that you can use to help make your values workshops deliver the goods.

  • Start with an ice breaker – we love a good game of ‘share or steal’ which is lots of fun but also has a serious undercurrent of trust and team work, which is perfect for the workshop’s objectives
  • Why not test people’s knowledge of other brand’s values? Break into teams and use laminated cards to match values to organisation logos. It’s fascinating to see how some company’s values are so embedded in their offering and experience that they are instantly recognisable. For example, Amazon’s values are all about hard work and results, which is how they’ve become one of the most successful tech and retail stories on the planet
  • World Values Day has an excellent PDF which is all about defining personal values. Why not use this as a warm up to discover more about the people that make up your organisation?
  • Enough about other people’s values! What about yours? Fill as many cards as possible with values-related words. Work together to prioritise the top 10 and then break these down further to the top three or five
  • Now you’ve got your top values, break into smaller groups of no more than four people and discuss how each of these values can be lived every day. So, if your value is ‘accountability’ what does this actually mean for your business? What makes it important? Why should we encourage it? How do we encourage it? What behaviours would people (staff, customers, suppliers) see that would uphold the value? How can you say this value in a way that resonates?
  • Why not add a fun photo mechanic? Use pledge cards for workshop members to write their favourite value onto and how they would live it. Capture these on camera to share afterwards.

What’s next?

This article outlines just a few ideas for initial workshops but it’s important to have a strategic plan in place for what will be done with all the data and great ideas that you collect.  

  • How can you turn words into action? Think creatively about how you phrase your values, they don’t just have to be one word – think about how the language you use can encourage action.

  • How can you get senior leadership buy in? Why not try leadership workshops to further embed the values (once they’re defined) and show how they’re accountable for their success?

  • How will you launch and embed these values? Launch with a bang and then roll out with an immersive campaign to truly get people on board. For inspiration check out the award-winning campaign we did with ODEON.

  • How will you ensure that they are reflected in each and every business process, inside and out? Think about careers websites, job descriptions, appraisals, behaviour frameworks – they should all reflect your values.

  We’re experts in helping companies to discover, define, roll out and embed their values. And we’ve got to say, it’s probably one of our favourite projects to help with! We’ve helped Ladbrokes, 1610 Leisure, Doosan Babcock and ODEON. Contact us on hello@mccannsynergy.com.uk if you’d like to see how we can help you.

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