New Gallup Data Finds Only 1 in 4 Employees Believe in Their Company Values. This Strategy Can Change That.

If your current employees aren’t bought into your company values, they’ll likely seek opportunities elsewhere.

The already record-low unemployment rate continues to drop, making the hiring market highly competitive for employers across industries. Because of this, not only is it critical to have an effective hiring process in place, but your team also needs to take extra steps to keep the employees you’ve already hired on board.

One way to keep employees excited about sticking with your team is to have them bought into your company’s mission and values. But new data from Gallup found that only 27 percent of employees strongly believe in their company’s values, and less than half strongly agree that they know what makes their organization stands for and what makes it different.

One way to encourage employees to believe in your values is through workplace rituals. Here are three effective ways to get started:

Tie rituals to your core values.

For employees to embrace your values, you need to make these values part of day-to-day business operations. They can’t simply be posted on your company website or on the wall in your office and otherwise ignored.

When developing workplace rituals, think of ways to tie in your core values. At my company of about 200 employees, we host a weekly huddle each week. To kick off the huddle, core values are recited one by one.

We also host an all-company lab coat ceremony twice a year. During this ceremony, employees who have been with the company for at least 90 days receive a lab coat, becoming an official Hireologist. As part of the lab coat ceremony, each new employee’s manager chooses a company value statement that represents the employee, to show how he or she is living up to our values.

Whether you currently have workplace rituals in place or are looking to incorporate some, make sure they tie back to your core values. This will help reinforce core values to employees on a regular basis and help them truly believe in your core values.

Recognize employees for great work.

If your team truly lives and breathes your core values, your employees should be living up to these values each and every day.

Your core values should be top-of-mind when employees are doing independent work, interacting with teammates and communicating with customers. And when it’s clear employees have gone above and beyond to embody your values, it’s important to recognize these employees, so they’ll stay motivated.

During my company’s weekly huddle, employees receive core-value shout-outs from their peers. Our core values include: Own the Result, Create Wow Moments, No Assholes, Pathological Optimism and Eager to Improve. One employee might receive an “Own the Result” shout out for going the extra mile to fix a problem. Or another might receive a “Create Wow Moments” shout out for taking the time to better understand a customer on a personal level.

At the end of each year, we present annual employee awards. Employees who received weekly core value shout outs and are nominated by the leadership team are then chosen to receive annual core value awards based on voting by their peers. One award is given out for each core value.

Ultimately, seeing core values highlighted on both a weekly and annual basis helps keep employees excited and motivated to live up to our core values on a daily basis.

Don’t forget about your remote team.

While 63 percent of companies have remote employees, all too often, these employees end up feeling isolated. Employee isolation can cause disengagement — and even lead to remote employees seeking other job opportunities.

When they’re away from the workplace, they might be overlooked when it comes to day-to-day rituals. It’s key to have a strategy in place, and the right technology, to make remote workers feel like part of the team.

On my team, remote employees get flown into the office for the bi-annual lab coat ceremony mentioned above. During this time, they typically spend an entire week in the office, giving them the opportunity to interact with employees across the company.

When remote employees aren’t in the office, we always make sure to set up video conferencing for any all-company meetings, such as our weekly huddles or monthly events like product updates. This helps remote employees feel included — and have a better grasp on how our core values are integrated into day-to-day life.

Given the competitive hiring market, it’s critical to boost engagement among current employees and ensure they believe in your core values — and this can be made possible through purposeful rituals. If employees aren’t aligned with your values, they might search for other job opportunities — meaning you’ll be faced with the challenge of backfilling their roles in a tight labor market.

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