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Mission Statement
Image by mhartford via Flickr

I’ve just read a staff satisfaction survey from the contact centre of a large company. The Company has strong values. They are displayed in the reception areas, on the walls around the buildings and in company publications.

The values are pretty standard stuff – people, empowerment, communication, teamwork, customer focus, shareholder value and the like.

There’s enough in the staff survey to suggest things aren’t going to plan. Empowerment, communication and teamwork take a particular hammering.

If managers in the company aren’t working to the organisation’s values what values are they putting into practice instead?

Nancy Kline (‘More Time to Think’) says ‘How much did your organisation
spend figuring out its values? And how much did it cost to get it inscribed in
granite….or at least in a three-colour brochure? See if you can get a refund.’

An interesting follow-up to the staff survey would be to list the organisations values on the left hand side and the values that managers are living in practice (as exhibited by the staff survey) on the right hand side. That would be a good place to start to bridge the gaps.

As Nancy Kline goes on to say, ‘people are furious not so much by the values the leaders are not living, but by the ones they are living instead. And they are furious in the face of the assumptions that drive those other values. The assumptions demean, dishearten, dismiss and discourage people.’

Picture by M Hartford