Chief Admin & Support Services
Organizational culture can be seen as a “personality” created by the organization’s values, attitudes and behaviors. This “personality” attracts and keeps great talent, creates a positive public image and helps build long-lasting relationships with stakeholders, vendors and customers. But a good organizational culture doesn’t spring up out of serendipity. It requires intentional and thoughtful identification of the core values the organization is built upon.
Executives like to talk about organizational values; they proudly place them in boardrooms and often talk about them in interviews. Yet too often, employees and other stakeholders are completely unaware what the stated values are and what they mean. The problem is usually values are easy to write down, but hard to live up to. Therefore, what begins with a sincere effort ends with a lofty checklist of anodyne virtues that do not reflect reality.
The problem as I see it is that values are often confused with beliefs. When you are sitting around a conference table, it is easy to build a consensus about broad virtues such as excellence, integrity and customer service. True values, on the other hand, are idiosyncratic. They represent choices that are directly related to a particular mission. They need to have a purpose, which in this case is to always focus on the side of living up to promises.
There are many ways of how you can create values that stick; values should have a purpose and lead to an action. Values must further the greater mission of the organization. This is why an organization’s values – or lack thereof – define it in a way that nothing else does. They determine how an enterprise will pursue its purpose.
In my organization; we value a positive workplace environment and do what is needed to make it happen. Values are ingrained within our employees, from the first day of employment to the value driven performance management system (individual and organizational). These values run through generally all processes at most levels. We continuously re-enforce our values and do everything possible to sustain a value-driven organization; top-down, bottom-up and across. To further reinforce our values, we created a value driven reward and recognition policy, which rewards the outstanding behavior of our employees, displaying our values in their day-to-day activities.
Furthermore, we created something unique to Qatar Cool; a Core Values Dictionary, which talks about the different value behaviors that our employees can translate into their daily functions and fashion that particular value. We also have conducted teambuilding sessions around these values and pop-up courses (one for each of the values) to help employees connect to the values and reflect the associated behaviors in the daily work environment. Our internal branding plays a key role in further communicating the values in simple terms which can be seen everywhere you go within the organization.