I’m sooooo excited that I have finally come to this writing about the day when we rolled-out our Core Values to our employees. At that time, October 2005, it was the most significant company-wide event we had ever held.
Insight: When people are having fun and their mouths are open with laughter, you can throw in some teaching for personal growth, and the teaching goes down really well. They get it.
Leaders understand that successful meetings result in learning, inspiration and alignment. If you want a successful outcome, you have to plan, prepare and execute when the day arrives. Here’s how one of my most significant company-wide events unfolded:
We blocked out half of a regular workday for our Core Values QIC-Day. When employees arrived that morning, they were welcomed with a ticket for door prizes and a pre-printed name-tag that also had their pre-assigned table.
We played upbeat instrumental music at the beginning and during refreshment breaks to help warm people up and to increase a high level of anticipation for the morning.
Food & Icebreaker
After people grabbed some breakfast and got coffee or a beverage, we kicked-off and welcomed everyone with an Icebreaker game, Wheel of Values (like the Wheel of Fortune game on TV) at each table.
The table that guessed and yelled out the correct phrase first got to go and spin a game wheel for prizes. The first phrase was Our Values Statement – People, People, People.
Tip: Plan some fun into your events! It sets the tone of your overall event and helps folks connect with each other and engage with the message of the event.
Then I spoke about the purpose of the day and explained that Our Values define how we are to behave as we pursue Our Purpose, Our Vision, and Our Super Objectives.
I went on to describe the history of the process I went through to discover “Who I was” and Our Values.
Throughout the event I was very transparent, and people heard stories about me that some had never heard before. I told stories going all the way back to when I was a little boy.
Even though I shared the purpose of the day and the history of the process, I still did not reveal Our Values yet.
I wanted our people to discover Our Values one-by-one throughout the remainder of the morning.
Tip: Use games and questions to stimulate the thinking and discovery of your people. This enables them to connect with the content on a deeper level.
We introduced each value in a similar way so our people could focus on discovering each unique value:
- Each table competed to discover each value by playing the Wheel of Values game. Again, the table that yelled out the correct value phrase first got to go and spin a game wheel for prizes.
- Then I shared the meaning of that value, where it came from, and why it was important to me.
- Afterwards, each table went to a flip chart to discuss and record how we, as a company, were going to “live out” that value.
- We wrapped-up each value with each table reporting back what they discussed.
- The process was repeated one value at a time until every value was discovered.
When we finished the discovery process of Our Values, I did two things:
- I introduced “why” they were wearing a T-shirt with G.I.V.E.R.S. and explained the letters represent the key words in Our Values. It made it easy for our people to remember the key words by just remembering G.I.V.E.R.S.
Tip: T-shirts are a great way to reinforce any important company-wide message. The silk-screened message impacts the wearer, their co-workers, and your customers and suppliers as well!
- I introduced the Value Leaders who were going to take one value each and form Value Teams to do a deeper dive into how we, as a company, were going to “live out” that value.
Observation: When you place others in leadership positions, they dig deeper, grow more and produce better results than if you try to do all the “leading” yourself.
Near the end, we had two more discussion questions addressed at the flip charts followed by reporting from each table. The two questions were – As an organization…
- If we fail to align our behaviors/activities with Our Values, what would the outcomes be?, and
- If we succeed at aligning our behaviors/activities with Our Values, what would the outcomes be?
Remind the Team
In closing I made some final remarks, we showed a video of pictures of just about every employee being involved in past events to emphasize Our Value Statement People, People, People. And I shared about Our Values plaque that would soon be unveiled in our office foyer.
We wrapped-up the QIC-Day with people preparing their Personal Action Plans handout as to what action steps they needed to take to align their life with Our Values.
Then each employee placed their Plans inside a sealed self-addressed envelope to themselves.
We mailed the envelopes by the end of December, when people consider their New Year resolutions, as a timely reminder of their Personal Action Plans.
The QIC-Day ended with a catered celebration lunch. The room was filled with laughter and conversation about people’s lives, the business AND our newly announced Core Values!
Insight: As leaders, we’re often focused on results and anxious to “check off” a task or event and get on with our business. Take time to celebrate big wins or important events. Celebration helps keep everyone energized and passionate about all aspects of the business.
As you can see, it takes a lot of planning and preparation to effectively roll out your Core Values to your team. But if it’s so important to your success, it is worth all the effort!
Could you share with me how you increase anticipation to an organizational-wide event for your employees? Continue the discussion by leaving a comment to this blog post.