Values Matter

Buffer-Values-e1417635934521-1024x897I’m always on the lookout for high performing, values-aligned companies. I’m inspired by leaders that choose to run their businesses with clear values expectations – and love sharing what I learn with you.

These businesses are successful. The benefits of values alignment on employee engagement, customer service, and results and profits are well documented.

And, you can bring values alignment into your team or department or company. It’s not difficult. It simply takes 1) a proven framework, 2) your intention, and 3) your time and energy to model and reinforce desired valued behaviors.

This week, Brian Fanzo introduced me to Buffer‘s values-based culture. In Courtney Seiter’s post, The 10 Buffer Values And How We Act On Them Every Day, she describes how Buffer’s founders built “a different type of company that focused not only on the progress of the product, but also the happiness of its users and team and personal growth during the journey.”

Courtney defines each of Buffer’s ten values and how they are demonstrated each day in their workplace. She explains, “It’s a unique privilege to work at a company that is guided by a true culture and set of values.” Buffer’s ten values are featured in the graphic that accompanies this post.

The second values-aligned company that caught my eye this week is Spectranetics. A Denver Post article describes a pretty miserable 2010 for the company, which makes laser-based devices that treat coronary and circulation disorders.

In 2010 the former CEO and three other executives were indicted on twelve federal counts of conspiracy to defraud the federal government and other charges. In 2011, new CEO Scott Drake began crafting a culture based on vision and shared values. Drake’s hands-on leadership style and the “simple formula” of values alignment has created a thoughtful and purposeful culture of empowered employees at Spectranetics.

Business performance since the dark days of 2010 has been spectacular. Drake says, “We’ve gone from three percent growth to twenty-seven percent growth, and not a lot of new products coming out to a whole bunch of new products coming out.”

Drake explains, “With the right team and the right strategy, we execute as if lives depend on it, because indeed they do.”

Values matter. And, whether you’ve been intentional with values in your workplace, they exist today. The problem is that the values that bubble up in a “results-only” focused workplace aren’t inspiring. Values like “I win, you lose,” withholding information, poaching customers, and worse can be the norm.

Be intentional with workplace values. Creating a cooperative workplace boosts performance, service, and engagement.

There’s no time like the present to start.

How do (or did) your great bosses create a safe, inspiring workplace? What values does your team or department live by today? Share your comments and insights on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +.

How healthy is your team or company’s culture? Don’t guess – get the data with my online Culture Effectiveness Assessment.

Want hands-on guidance for building a safe, inspiring workplace? Join me in Denver for my Culture Leadership Roundtable. This one-morning-a-month series, based on The Culture Engine, starts in March 2015 and ends in September.

Graphic © Buffer. All rights reserved.

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