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Strategic Statement of Values – Gaining Employee Engagement

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, Jul 25, 2013

Organizational direction in your company can come in several forms.  I’m going to divide them into the emotional and objective since they serve two different but critical purposes.  missionVisionValues resized 600On the emotional side we look at what might be labeled as “Strategic Statement of Values.”  On the opposite side, the objective is the Strategic Objective Statement which produces the Strategy Statement we’ve discussed in previous blogs. 

More insight on this is provided in Harvard Business Review’s Article Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?  Here’s their insight, “A Hierarchy of Company Statements Organizational direction comes in several forms. The mission statement is your loftiest guiding light—and your least specific. As you work your way down the hierarchy, the statements become more concrete, practical, and ultimately unique. No other company will have the same strategy statement, which defines your competitive advantage, or balanced scorecard, which tracks how you implement your particular strategy.”  Their list includes: Mission, Values, Vision, Strategy, and Balanced Scorecard. 

Strategy is one element of the Four Decisions.  Getting your Strategy right means top line revenue growth.  Getting your people to put their backs into their functions with sincere dedication and commitment requires an emotional and logical appeal.

To harness employee engagement the “Strategic Statement of Values” is significant.  As Herbert Hoover remarked, “ needs a lifting purpose greater than the struggle for materialism.”

Most of us have had several jobs, starting with opportunities in high school, college, and then getting out in the real world.  Which jobs did you enjoy the most and why?  My experience is at most jobs the mission or values of the company is never truly communicated.  These “Strategic Statement of Values” were ignored or glossed over in an effort to get you trained and on the front line as quickly as possible.  With a summer or part-time job is that even acceptable behavior from a responsible business?

It isn’t hard to tell a good business from a mediocre.  The good businesses has structure, discipline and documented systems.  It shares its “Strategic Statement of Values.”  In great companies these are an integral part of new employee orientation and recruiting efforts.  They discuss their heritage and legacy.  There is a focus on hiring good people to build upon the success and growth of the business.

Review in your mind jobs you loved or enjoyed more than others.  Did the business communicate the emotional intent of the business either directly or indirectly?  Could you feel there was something different about working there?

Harnessing the energy and commitment of your people is hard work.  It’s starts with presenting the reason you are in business and why your employees should share this dedication and commitment to the business ideal (Mission or Purpose).  It continues with demanding accountability, mentoring, training and communicating your ideals repeatedly to ensure clarity. emphasis and implementation. 

Employee Engagement starts with recruitment, orientation, and then progressive mentoring, individual and staff meetings.  Your “Strategic Statement of Values” cannot be expected to be established through osmosis of employee contact and communication alone.  Your people’s behavior will communicate perhaps better than anything else can what truly is important.  However documenting, repeating, and reviewing these with your people broadcasts the priority you place on them, and the value they bring to your organization.

Many business owners fail to realize the value these statements provide to their business.  They chose to ignore or diminish their impact.

My question again to you is have you measured your Employee Engagement?  Have you actually quantified whether your people are actively engaged or not?  If not the Q12 survey provides a measurement tool: (Email me for it.)  Find out if your company is below or ahead of the line of 30% engaged employees.

What kind of return can you expect to realize by getting these Strategic Statement of Values completed and communicated?  The book Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's 50 Greatest Companies by Jim Stengel offers significant measurements on how businesses that get this right far outpace their competitors.   We'll explore this next blog. 

Topics: employee engagement, strategy, Business Culture, Q12, Employee Survey

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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