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  • Writer's pictureMeghan Kirkland

From Words to Action: Building a Values & Purpose-Driven Culture

Picture this...


Youโ€™ve defined an epic purpose and values, but a few months later you wonder why no one is living them.ย They are on your website, your recruitment materials, on the intranet- but then you hear:


๐Ÿ’ฌ โ€œ๐˜ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ซ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ช๐˜ต.โ€


๐Ÿ’ฌโ€œ๐˜ž๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บโ€™๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.โ€


๐Ÿ’ฌโ€œ๐˜“๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ.โ€


๐ˆ'๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐žย ๐Ÿ˜„


๐–๐ก๐ฒ?


โ–ถ ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐š ๐›๐ข๐  ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ-๐๐ซ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž.


๐‹๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ?ย 


โžก Action


โžก Tangibility


โžก Engagement


โžก Role-modelling


๐’๐จ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐š ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ-๐๐ซ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž?ย 


1๏ธโƒฃ ๐’๐ก๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ ๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž: Seek to shift the perspective with the questions you ask.ย 


2๏ธโƒฃ ๐‚๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž:ย Work together & co-create with your employees to uncover and develop values. This builds ownership and authenticity. Be wary of completely outsourcing this externally, it can be helpful to have someone external facilitate the workshops/process/support with the copywriting- but I believe the team should always be providing input and at the core of the design process.ย 


3๏ธโƒฃ ๐†๐ž๐ญ ๐๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ:ย Translate abstract values into concrete actions and behaviors. This helps everyone understand how to live these principles daily.


Aside from obvious communication points, shape your people experience around your values and purpose i.e. how do your values play out for example in recognition, recruitment etc.ย 


4๏ธโƒฃ ๐‹๐ž๐š๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐„๐ฑ๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž:ย Ensure leaders not only endorse but role model the companyโ€™s values. Help them create their own narratives around your purpose and values. Their behaviour sets a precedent for what is expected throughout the organisation.


What other tips have you seen that worked?

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