Company values do not just sit on a page on your website; they are a living thing that affects everyone in the organization and how we interact with each other. A good leader works to establish an environment where all their employees feel safe and supported in expressing their ideas, without fear of ridicule or retaliation. But what happens when leaders don’t embody those values authentically? How do our employees’ values impact the values of our organization and their interactions with other team members? Today we explore the ideas of grace, real conversation, and authenticity in a polarized world.
Values are a living, breathing thing.
In our latest panel discussion, Living Company Values as a Leader, featuring Chante Thurmond, DEIA&B Leader; Co-Founder, The Darkest Horse; Dorie Blesoff, Talent Advisor and Former Chief People Officer at Relativity; and Christine Schoeff, SVP of Talent & Development at FourKites, we discuss how our values are not simply a 9 to 5 thing, how people are human and will likely make mistakes, and how we need to have a process in place to examine values and to address violations by our teams.
"We need to call someone in vs. calling them out," says Chante Thurmond. Do we miss an opportunity to transform and grow when we cancel someone?
We must create an organization where every single person in the organization can be fully self-expressed, says Christine Schoeff.
In starting the process of creating their company values, Dorie Blesoff shared that Relativity began by identifying what they DIDN’T want their culture to be.
We must be willing to have tough conversations and be open to change.
In this TED talk, Megan Phelps-Roper, former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, relates how being intentional and approaching others as humans can help to change values and beliefs.
Though she grew up firmly implanted within the WBC, interacting in a civil way on social media and eventually meeting some of her opponents in person caused her to question her beliefs and eventually leave the church.
Phelps-Roper details several key approaches her opponents took that eventually led to real and authentic conversation.
Organizations cannot avoid or ignore the conversations on social issues and systemic inequities.
Employees, especially Millennials and Gen Zers, increasingly expect their organizations to be authentic and purposeful in how they live into their values, says the Harvard Business Review.
Leaders must understand the challenges that all their employees face and not just view it through their own filter.
Not taking a stand is taking a stand.
Organizations must be proactive and continually evaluate their approach and values.
Equip your managers with the skills and tools to be open, honest and direct and authentically live into your organization’s values. Learn more here.