Rooted in Values, Delivering Value
The Vision and the Mission continue to be relevant and set out aspirations for an organization. But the question that an organization needs to ask is how do they get there? Is it possible to define a 'decision architecture' that guides actions of each employee? Can values be embedded in all actions that come in? Most organisations operate with ‘default’ cultures. No one is measuring or paying attention to the culture, the underlying values. Beliefs of the leaders become the way things are done.
Today, the critical issues pre-occupying the boardrooms are:
a) How do we increase profits and shareholder value?
b) How do we attract and retain talented people?
c) How do we build brand loyalty and ambassadors?
d) How do we ensure that values-based culture permeates in every day working in delivering the above three?
The Board looks at the fourth point not as an addition, but a critical requirement to achieve the first three objectives. Values driven organisations are the most successful since,
a) Values and behaviours drive culture
b) Culture drives employee engagement and performance
c) Engaged employees drive customer advocacy and
d) Customer advocacy drives shareholder value.
Deep rooted values being important to be a successful company, what are the steps thento really make it happen and being practiced?
Let us first understand the definition of corporate values. There are numerous definitions; I have picked up the one I associate closely with – source : Mckinsey Organisation Practice, HBR –‘A corporate value is a deeply held principle or belief that guides individual and group behaviour and captures the lasting source of company’s distinctiveness.’
Creating the value
First step, therefore for any organisation is to create well articulated values. The organisation has to define the set of values it wants to pursue and permeate in its culture to achieve its stated mission and vision. Within each set of values, it should clearly have behavioural action statement that every employee till the last level can understand and practice. For example if Customer centricity is a value, one of statement can be defined under this value is ‘Promise what can be delivered and deliver on your promise.’If excellence is a value, one of statement can be ‘Do things on time and correctly.’
Implementing and aligning the values
Can values be lived in organisations? Yes, but it takes hard work, consistency, a common understanding of what exactly the organisation’s values mean, and critical to success, the modelling of the values by every leader in the organisation.
Values can be embedded effectively if seen from the last mile employee point of view and looking at what he/she will need to align and practice with stated values. If each one of us put ourselves in that shoes and ask ourselves what we need, we may end up with following requirements:
Role Modelling: I see my leaders, peers and others employees following the values
Tell Me: I know exactly what actions/behaviours aligned to values are expected of me and I am committed to the same
Reinforce Me: The structures, process and organisation systems reinforce the values
Teach Me: I have the skills and competencies to follow the values
(Source: the above change management approach used is based on the McKinsey influence model and inputs from McKinsey consultants)
Role Modelling: Leaders must live their values through actions. A cadence of accountability can be created to invoke tension in the system whereby leaders ask for personal feedback from direct reports on living the values. Also, leaders evaluate all direct reports against values regularly and it can form the basis for development and promotion opportunities.
Appointment of Chief Value officer who are guardian and custodian of value system is essential. They with a team of value champions can own branch offices and forms one point of contact for cascading, listening and addressing values related actions and issues.
Tell Me: Every new/ existing employee needs to be trained on values from first day and periodically to foster continuous understanding and commitment. The engaging way to train is collate, collect real stories and examples of value behaviour demonstrated or not demonstrated in different situations. These stories and examples can be used as an assessment tool by administering assessment post the training to check and reinforce the understanding. Another effective way can be leveraging enterprise social media to be made active with value based real stories sharing by all and creating a compelling and positive viral momentum to create the community understanding.
Reinforce Me: Organisation needs to create environment through systems, process to continuous encourage right value behaviours and discourage actions or behaviours violating the stated values. ‘Do it right first time’ can be applied here too, where the selection criteria for fresh recruitment and promotions should include evaluating candidates on organization values. The other ways of encouraging can be celebrating ‘value weeks’, ‘annual value day’, Employee value awards etc.
Teach Me: Imparting right skills and behavioural training will enable employees to live the stated values. Coaching can be an effective way wherein managers and leaders can be trained on how to provide coaching to their subordinates on values.
To summarise or take away, organisation can introspect and evaluate with these possible questions:
a) Are the company values well articulated and clear define behaviour/actions which a last mile employee can easily understand and relate to?
b) Is there compelling environment which encourages employees to live the values?
c) Are leaders Value Champions and they are seen as ‘Walking their talk?
Mr Amitabh Chaudhry has been with HDFC Life since January 2010. HDFC Standard Life is today recognized as the premium brand in the insurance space and is one of the India’s largest private insurers. Before joining HDFC Standard Life, he was the MD and CEO of Infosys BPO Ltd and was also heading the Testing unit of Infosys Technologies Ltd.View Complete Profile
A critical aspect of a retirement plan is how and where to invest. The assets you choose to invest will vary depending on several factors, which include your risk tolerance and investment time horizon.
According to a study by the Insured Retirement Institute, only a few women consider becoming financial planners because they deem the job stressful and uninteresting. The time has come to stop relying on someone else for financial security. Financial planning is nothing but determining short and long-term financial goals, and creating a balance to meet these goals.
Swabhimaan Careers is one of HDFC Life’s strategic initiatives to build long-term customer relationships. The overall objective of insurance is to compensate the financial loss caused due to untimely death of a bread winner.
The Vision and the Mission continue to be relevant and set out aspirations for an organization. But the question that an organization needs to ask is how do they get there? Is it possible to define a 'decision architecture' that guides actions of each employee?
For millions of people in India, the concept of life insurance still remains a mystery. Thanks to the new media channels, more and more people are becoming aware of the significance of life insurance. For those, who wish to develop fundamental understanding of the concept of life insurance, here is a quick snapshot.
Consumer is king. With the shifting of focus on the goods and services reaching out to the consumer rather than the other way round, Mobile learning embodies just that, by taking training not just to the doorstep but also to the learner in person. Just as an individual is empowered to carry his office with him at all times, M Learning empowers him to carry his training program with him, shattering the barriers of space and time.
Reinsurance is an insurance that is purchased by an Insurance company from one or more other insurance companies to manage the risk. Reinsurance helps in transfer of risk from one insurance company to another. It is also called “insurance for insurers” or “stop-loss insurance”.Read More