Monday, August 7, 2017

Giving Core Values Teeth

I heard a great way for organizations to give their core values "teeth" at a recent conference I attended.

I've written before about some of the steps my association has taken -- using our core values as a screen during our interview process, and making alignment with our core values a part of our performance evaluation process. These are both important steps and they have helped make our core values something more than just "a plaque on the wall." But what the organization I learned about at the conference has done takes their values a step further.

They are also part of their performance evaluation process, but they are something more than just one performance category among many. They are, in fact, a "pass/fail" assessment that comes at the very front end of the performance evaluation.

If the employee in question passes, meaning that they consistently demonstrate behaviors that align with the core values of the organization, they go on to the other performance categories.

But if the employee in question fails, meaning that they consistently demonstrate behaviors that do not align with the core values of the organization, then they go no further with the performance evaluation. The misalignment issue with the core values must be dealt with -- either through the successful completion of an improvement plan or, in the worst cases, dismissal of the employee -- before the employee can be evaluated in the other categories, and receive any of the rewards and compensation incentives that go along with those categories.

It strikes me as an bold stand, putting real teeth into the core values adopted by the organization. It essentially makes alignment with those values the most important factor in determining both the compensation levels and continued employment of the people who work for it. Importantly, it also gives supervisors a tool for enforcing and rewarding that alignment. The system effectively says either you act in a manner that supports our core values or you leave our organization.

+ + +

This post first appeared on Eric Lanke's blog, an association executive and author. You can follow him on Twitter @ericlanke or contact him at

Image Source

No comments:

Post a Comment