Imagine if you were an applicant for an executive position in an organization. Would you be able to review a handbook for building ethical cultures?
What if you were considering a board position. Would you be able to review a playbook for building ethical cultures?
What if you are like the vast majority of workers who want to work and secure a solid fit with an organization? How important is it talk about organizational values and the type of ethical culture a company has?
This should come as no surprise to any of you: there aren’t many handbooks in print that describe an organization’s values: who they are, what they value, and the purpose they serve.
Those that do exist are like rare books; they need to be preserved and cherished.
Organizations that wish to attract the best candidates need to sell them on why they are different than the competition. What do they offer beyond a compensation package that brings value and a sense of purpose?
Most companies try to publish employee handbooks, blending this into who they are, what they are about, and the policies they operate with. Don’t do it!!
What I would urge leadership teams in any organization to think about is a playbook/handbook focused solely on vision, mission, ethics/culture, and building winning teams. Pour your soul out and think about the following:
Define your business in terms of who you are.
What is the purpose of your business.
Talk about the markets you serve and the value you bring to your customers.
What are your values, why does this matter, and whom does the organization serve?
Let all employees know they are the fabric of the culture; it is an evolving and changing entity requiring constant input, honesty, and ethical values.
Talk about how you win, why you win, and why building winning teams depends on creating ethical and values based cultures. Please note that I am not talking about mentioning particular strategies, sensitive company data, or anything that falls into “our eyes only” category.
Words are nice to read and hear in a company culture. Deeds matter a whole lot more and ultimately define any organization’s reputation and competitive advantage.
My friends please remember this: respect, consideration, and courtesy matter a lot. Treat others fairly, decently, and equally.
Build your moral compasses carefully and always monitor them daily.
You know the battle cry: do your best each day. No one can ask more or less from any of us.
All the best/blessings, Mark