As we come to the one-year mark of the pandemic, what better time stop and reflect on the year gone by. There is no doubt that your organization has been tested, your employees are tired, your resources have been stretched thin. Some of you might have considered throwing in the towel more than once or twice (we won’t tell!). But you persisted with incredible courage and determination and here we are, one year later.
With clocks springing ahead, warmer weather coming, and vaccines rolling out with greater speed, there’s now light ahead at the end of the tunnel. This might be a good time to pause and look at your organizational values – the core of who you are, what you do, and how you define your success. At The Strategy Group, we think of organizational values as your organization’s “True North.” They are powerful reminders of the culture you want to create and live, and how you want to accomplish your mission. They are your “fixed point in a spinning world” that help you stay on track.
Because of the pandemic, organizational values sometimes seemed to take a backseat to the day-to-day front-line work that had to happen immediately. But now’s a good time for a reset as we look to getting back to a new normal. Here are five things we recommend when resetting or refocusing on your organizational values:
- Values are meaningful only if they are lived. Talk with your staff, board, clients, and community partners and make sure that your values represent your common purpose of how you work together. You are going to get feedback, so expect it and welcome it. Be ready to possibly revisit or refresh your values if they don’t feel they hit the mark.
- Recognize those who live your values, especially the employees who are working so tirelessly right now. Everyone is feeling extra fragile in this moment, and the fear of the unknown lingers. That extra pat on the back will go a long way when you see your staff at their best.
- Create traditions that align with your values. Live the values you have identified by putting people into action. This might take the form of a half day volunteer event once every other month, or some other type of bonding experience that brings you together around a value. It’s one thing to say you value “Community” or that you are “Collaborative” but put that into action!
- Encourage cross-departmental collaboration. Now more than ever, we need to know each other and work together closely.
- Ask for feedback from your staff board, clients and community partners, and often. Your stakeholders are your best resources (and your greatest assets). Check in every few months with a phone call, a quick survey, an ask at the staff meeting. Over time, you’ll see yourself pivoting naturally because you’ll all be rowing the boat in the same direction.
Revisiting and refocusing on your organization’s core values and incorporating them into your work may be the most transformational activity you do this year. If we can be of help, reach out to us, we’d love to help you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 30-minute call today.