How To Get Your Core Values off the Walls and Onto the Floor

Your organization’s core values might be seen in plaques on your walls, but are they showing up on the shop floor? Even when you think your organization has strong core values, they might not be clear through actions, behavior, and language—or if they’re outdated, your core values might actually be doing more harm than good!

So how do you get your core values off your plaques and onto the floor? Here are three great lessons from Adam Hill, a 9-figure CEO, bestselling author, and recent guest on the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast.

Lesson #1: Core Values or Sacred Cows?

Core values are meant to drive growth in your organization. But if you hold too tightly to an outdated idea, it can become a “sacred cow,” or an ideal or custom that actually holds your team and organization back. When a core value becomes a sacred cow, it can actually restrict your team.

If you find your organization struggling or plateauing, look toward your core values. Do they reflect your organization’s ideals? Do they promote growth and health in your company, or are they contributing to a poor or unproductive environment? If you find that a core value is causing more restriction than growth, it might be a sacred cow that needs to be reevaluated, changed, or eliminated from your organization.

Lesson #2: Cultural Shifts

Some organizations have very old core values or traditions that go back to when their company was first started. However, core values that were set decades ago might not match up with current culture. For example, smoking in the workplace might have been the norm years ago, but isn’t consider safe or appropriate now.

As culture shifts, your core values should shift and change, too. If a core value is leading to unsafe or unproductive conditions, it might be time to reevaluate. In some cases, you might be able to find a way to keep the main elements of your ideals while still shifting to meet the current cultural environment.

Lesson #3: A Culture of Empowerment

If you want change in your organization, you need to create an environment where people feel empowered to speak up. If people don’t feel like they can safely voice opinions or concerns, it can create a culture outdated—or even dangerous—core values go unaddressed.

To create a more empowering environment for all, start with curiosity and courage. Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations, and create a sense of trust with your team, so they know they can comfortably voice their thoughts and feedback. When it comes to core values, discussing about changing them can be challenging, but sometimes, you need healthy conflict to spark real change.

Learn More on the Podcast

To hear more about core values from Adam Hill, listen to his episode of Mindfulness Manufacturing here.