By Brendan Cox | General Manager
This week’s blog post comes from CFB’s General Manager, Brendan Cox, and follows on from our earlier “Core Values” series. As our last post discussed the importance of core values in the CFB culture, today’s post focuses on the value identification and creation process, and 3 simple ways to help integrate and reaffirm your values within your business.
Creating your Business Values is simple; affirming them is the challenge.
Recently, I reviewed our corporate values at CFB to ensure our people could not only understand and relate to them but know how to live them. Our previous values of Empowered, Enthusiastic and Energetic were fine. However, when I arrived and asked each individual employee what our corporate values were (and what they meant) there was an awkward silence. Many had not thought too much about them since seeing them on the role description and capability statements when they were recruited.
As a result, we redesigned our values statement to be centered on how we engaged the client and further how we wished to be challenged within our own working environment. Our individual role descriptions gave us our Business WHAT, our clients were our unifying force amongst all our internal capabilities and, therefore, gave us our Business WHY….now our values were going to assist us in defining our Business HOW. In many respects, the redesign of our values statement was simply bringing to a conscious level, within the business, the action, attitudes and attributes of our staff that added value to the client experience and empowered our business culture.
As an ex-military man, I, of course, love acronyms, so our new values are summed up as … ‘at CFB we simply CARE for our clients’.
That is we are: Client–centric, Adaptive, Reliable, and Energetic. The individual definitions of each one of these attributes can be found on our website Values Page. The challenge now of course is to create a simple yet meaningful process to keep these values alive.
Here are three simple ways that CFB is doing reaffirming our corporate values.
Step 1 – Create a simple award process
At CFB, we have a small ‘deposit box’ in our coffee room. As an employee observes another employee undertaking an action that reflects our values they simply write it on a post-it note and place it in the box. At the start of each month, at our business learning lunch, I read out each note in the box to all the staff. No one knows who wrote the note. The staff member with the most nominations at the end of the month wins our employee of the month award. Last year we had just under 300 nominations – that is 300 times that our staff observed each other doing an action that they thought was noteworthy – not a bad first step in keeping your business values alive.
Step 2 – Clearly identify what actions are expected of your staff
After three months of having our CARE values statement on our wall and on our website, I sat down with each key group within CFB and asked them how they demonstrate they CARE for our clients and for each other. After the initial period of awkward silence was observed we simply started talking about their daily routine. Under each pillar of our values; Client-centric, Adaptive, Reliable and Energetic we started recording the actions, behaviours and attitudes that directly contributed to our corporate values. We simply brought to a conscious level the positive actions that were expected of each employee in the group. As a result, we created our group CARE statements…that is “I am a CFB CSO and I CARE because…” and then listed 10 to 12 actions that demonstrated each CARE value. This then becomes the values platform from which each employee challenges themselves to do better.
Step 3 – Express your business values beyond the business environment
At CFB, we try and extend our values beyond the corporate charities we support. One way we achieve this is by sending CARE packs to Australian soldiers serving overseas. The CFB team members anonymously bring in household shopping items such as lollies, magazines, chips, biscuits etc. and place it in a collection box in our staff room. Each fortnight I then have the pleasure of boxing it up and sending to “An Aussie Soldier” serving our country overseas. It is simply an extension of our values in which we provide an opportunity for the staff to contribute to creating a smile on a soldier, sailor or airman/airwoman serving us overseas. Our current count at 15 September 2015 is now 26 CARE packs. It is not earth-shattering, but it is another way of reaffirming your business’s values and keeping them alive.
It was Abe Lincoln who said – “Preach a vision and continuously reaffirm it.” It is this process of affirmation that you will transition your corporate values from your boardroom wall into the hearts and minds of your most powerful assets – your people.
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Brendan is the General Manager at Complete Financial Balance charged with the efficient and effective conduct of the daily business operations. Brendan promotes the values of the organisation and ensures that all staff sustain a client-centric focus in the course of their daily activities. In addition, Brendan contributes to the strategic planning, and implements processes and procedures to achieve the organisational goals of Complete Financial Balance