The most important HR tool you have in your organization – the most important behavioural tool you have in your family – is core values.
Which behaviours matter? Which ones do you really want every single person living out every day? Which ones have made your organization (or family) a success up to this point?
Here are the marks of true core values:
olations make you angry: One of our family core values is respect, and my wife and I would both boil when we encountered blatant disrespect. That meant that kids respected kids, parents respected each other, parents respected kids, kids respected our stuff, and everyone respected strangers.
You’re not willing to walk past violations: When you hear someone being rude/indifferent to a customer; when someone is a jerk to a co-worker, when someone doesn’t pull their weight, you intervene if it’s truly a core value. If it isn’t, you may not like it but you will walk past it from time to time.
You will fire over repeated violations: If, after multiple interventions and conversations this person can’t or won’t change, will you let them go? If so, it’s a core value. If not, it probably isn’t (this one is less actionable with your kids…)
You hope your company/family descendants will stand for these values in 100 years: They’re that important. One of my clients has his company’s core values carved in stone and hanging in his living room:
- Honor relationships
- Do what it takes
- Show leadership
Pretty good values for a family or a company to live by, don’t you think?