Are your values a plaque on the wall, or a way of life?

Posted by Kristin Baird

In all the years that I have been consulting on culture and patient experience, I’ve only come across two organizations that didn’t have stated values. In both cases, the CEOs felt they were “fluff”. No wonder they needed help with culture. Right? But, equally as troublesome, are the organizations that create solid-sounding values on paper, but never even attempt to bring them to life. In those settings, many of the leaders are convinced that employees know them, but living them is an unrealistic quest. I beg to differ.

We recently completed a culture assessment in an organization where a decent number of employees talked about lack of accountability. Many employees said they believed in the values. When asked to list them, they either quoted the ad tag line, or random terms.

Align with Values

In contrast, the organizations that are the most successful in engaging employees and ultimately pleasing patients are ones that align expected behaviors with the stated values and strive to make them a way of life. That way, expectations for sustaining a consistent brand experience become clear.

Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.  Above all, strive to make values a living, breathing foundation of the culture, and ensure it results in better engagement.

In my keynote, “Keepers of the Culture,” I walk healthcare leaders through six vital leadership behaviors that help create a culture by design, rather than leaving it up to chance. Want to learn more?

  1. Leaders: Are you what you say you are?
  2. Core Values Matter Most in Turbulent Times
  3. How are you keeping values front and center?
  4. Is Your Mission a Plaque or a Pledge?
  5. Values Drive a Consistent Patient Experience
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