5 Jun 2014 | Tone of choice | Verbal identity | Stratton Craig
What are your values and how do you bring them to life?
In our recent newsletter, we discussed the elements that make up the verbal identity of your brand. They included your company values. Here’s a recap on just what those are:
“Your values are the foundation beneath your feet, and they impact everything from the way your staff talk about the company to the respect you earn in the industry at large.
To understand your values, you have to ask the question Why? Why was your company created? Why do you offer the products or services you do? Why are you different from others? And, most importantly, why should someone do business with you?
Once you know what you stand for, make sure it’s communicated in everything you write.”
As the foundation to your organisation, your values need to be completely understood by everyone in your business. Although we focus on helping you reflect your values in your written communications, it’s also important to reflect them through everyday actions. But bringing them to life can sometimes be difficult.
Some useful tips
Here are some tips that will help you ensure your values are embedded effectively, leaving your people in a position to demonstrate them at every opportunity.
Your organisation is the sum of its parts – and most of those are likely to be people. So it makes sense to speak to those people about what values they feel the organisation upholds. Not everyone will agree but a broader set of suggestions act as a great, authentic, starting point to pick out those that really align with your business objectives too.
When creating your values and communicating them, why not treat it as a campaign? Creating noise around your values makes them accessible and allows you to showcase them around your offices, in emails and at other internal touchpoints.
Give your leadership team a headstart with some tailored training. Once you’ve defined your values, ensure that your organisation’s leaders are completely clear on what they are and what they mean for everyday working life and decision-making. It goes without saying that your leaders should be setting a great example so their understanding is vital.
Create some guidelines for everyone to use. These should include more than simply a summary of your values – they should show how your values will help deliver your strategy too. You can also give practical examples of what they mean to your brand’s language, your decision-making and other working practices. Be sure to also leave your teams with some top tips/things to remember day-to-day.
Create practical training around the guidelines. Discussion groups, games, puzzles and role play are just some examples of how you can fully immerse your teams in the guidelines. A booklet or intranet isn’t always enough and it’s important to ensure they engage with the guidance at a ‘real-world’ level.
Reinforce the values regularly. Scheduling periodic recaps with your employees through brand discussion groups, written exercises and team events will help keep the values alive in the organisation.
Don’t forget to celebrate your values and reward employee success. Organise events and campaigns surrounding your values and be sure to congratulate team members who do particularly well in acting on them. From the dedicated charities you choose to support through to where you head for your Christmas party, you can celebrate your values constantly.
Through our tried and tested approach, we can help you define the vital elements of your brand, including your values. We can also help you create the guidance and practical training that is so crucial to embedding them effectively throughout your organisation. Get in touch with us today to find out more.