"What is good and what is bad?"

Talking to employees about the company's values and their own values is an important step to strengthen the corporate culture and achieve common goals.

If company values are not aligned with employee values, this can create dissonance in the corporate culture, leading to resentment and ultimately a clash between company values and employee values, which can be a serious management and leadership challenge. Resolving this clash may require patience, empathy and flexibility on the part of managers.

Companies that choose the path of regular meetings to reconcile and discuss current values can build a stronger foundation for success and employee engagement.

Here are some practical tips and one simple exercise that can help on the path to strengthening company culture and achieving shared goals:

1. Prepare: Before you start the conversation, make sure you are familiar with the company's values and can explain them. Have a clear understanding of how these values relate to employees' work and how they can impact the company's overall goals.

2. Context: Create an appropriate context for discussing the values. For example, you might plan a special event or organize regular meetings to discuss the company's values.

3. Openness: Maintain an open and trusting atmosphere during the conversation. Allow employees to speak up and ask questions. Make sure everyone feels comfortable and the importance of their opinion is taken into account.

4. Examples: Use real-life examples to illustrate what actions and decisions are in line with the company's values. This will help employees better understand how they can contribute and align with the values.

5. Continuity: Regularly revisit the values to keep them relevant. Integrate them into corporate events, communications and performance reviews.
Exercise "Your Values"
This is a good exercise to start a reflection and dialog about personal values and company values. Having identified the participants' core values, it is possible to link/relate them to the company's values and discuss whether all participants understand them in the same way. After this exercise, the values and action plan may need to be adjusted.

You will need:

  • Markers for the number of participants
  • 10+ post-it notes for each participant.
  • Timer with stopwatch.

The facilitator should strictly follow the timeline so that participants act on their intuition and do not have the opportunity to rethink and find the "right" values

Step 1: Ask participants to write down 10 things in their lives that they value most, one on each post-it note, for example: "friendship", "family", "honesty", "freedom" - the things they really value.

Step 2: When everyone has ten stickers, ask participants to spread them out in front of them so they are all clearly visible.

Step 3: Tell participants that they now have 30 seconds to choose the three stickers that are least important to them and throw them away.

Remember that you don't have to give them more time than that. No reasoning, just intuition!

Step 4: Now give only 20 seconds to throw out two more.

Step 5: And another 20 seconds to throw out the next two.

Now everyone should now have three stickers left with the three most important values.

Step 6: Allow 15 minutes for individual reflection, then 30 minutes in pairs or groups of three to reflect on the following questions (they should be recorded on a flipchart and clearly visible):

✔️ What do I think about the values I ended up with? Were they expected or did they surprise me?
✔️ How do these values manifest themselves in my daily life?
✔️ What actions am I already taking to live by them?
✔️ What actions would I like to take to live by them?

Keep in mind that discussing company values is a lengthy process. Take time to ask questions, listen to opinions and work together to build understanding and acceptance of the values