Are Your Organizational Values Off the Wall?

It seems everybody wants a magic wand to fix culture and live the organizational values. Immediately. The reality is that your culture wasn’t shaped in a week, nor will it be shifted quickly. One of the surest ways to create and sustain a desirable culture is to get anchored in your values. Simple, right? Just not as easy as it sounds.

When senior and mid-level leaders call on us to help them “fix” their culture but need to consult their website, wall plaque, or the back of their name badge to recall their values, it’s usually a clear sign of what’s broken. If you need to look up your values, you’re not living them.

What is Organizational Culture?

We define culture as how you really do things. In other words, it’s not the plaque on the wall or the list of enticing words on your website declaring your commitments that shape your culture. It’s how everyone lives those commitments at every point of the human experience, from the digital front door to the final bill. Here are a few questions to start your organization-wide assessment: 

  • What are the values?
  • When and how are associates first exposed to the values?
  • How are people taught to put organizational values into action regardless of position?
  • How do you continually test your organization’s performance on the values?
  • What mechanisms are in place for hiring and recognizing people who live the values?

During the peak of COVID, when hospital census was high, I worked with two organizations that managed to weather the worst of the storm with little attrition. I noticed that both organizations were rock-solid in their commitment to their values no matter what was happening in the world. Their values are a living, breathing element of daily life. For them, the values aren’t just lip service or a plaque on the wall. Each associate knows and lives the values, and it was obvious from the first encounter to the last.

Want to improve your culture? Make sure your values are off the wall and into everyone’s hearts and minds.

If you’re ready to learn more, our course, Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast – Six Leadership Essentials, is a great way to learn how to embed values into the day-to-day work of each employee. Contact us to learn more at (866) 686-7672 or 

Tags: , ,