Managing Organization Vision & Values

Photo: Beth Boyd
Photo: Beth Boyd

#Retail Competency: Managing Organization Vision & Values

According to Globoforce, and their Workforce Moodtracker Report: “88% of workers who understand their company’s core values reported engagement at work”! And “79% of employees say that recognition tied to core values gave them a stronger sense of company goals and objectives”. These are impactful statistics to know and understand for maximizing tools inside the business that elevate engagement, a sense of purpose, and happiness.

Here are the scary statistics: According to TinyPulse: “58% of employees do not know their company’s mission, vision, and values” and “39% of employees say their senior leaders do not act in accordance with the companies guiding principles”. Finally, according to Redii, “68% of employees believe businesses aren’t doing enough to create a sense of purpose.”

Here is the challenge – in most retail organizations someone, at some point, came up with what they believed to be the guiding principles in the business – it probably was accompanied by a training module and a roll-out, marketing for the stores and team members – and then…it was never really discussed again. Occasionally, they are referenced but for the most part these values and the company vision/mission statement are resigned to a laminated poster that resides in the backroom of the store. Hence the reason only 42% of employees are familiar with them or only 32% of employees believe that their company has an Executive Team that is focused on creating purpose…food for thought.

In some cases, corporate policies are not aligned with the company vision or values which negates the impact of one or the other of these company principles.

In retail we are very compliant. We know that new hires have to read and either sign off a sheet of paper stating they have read and received a copy of the employee handbook or click on an electronic box – that is done but time is not allotted for the actual reading, comprehension, or even a review of company policies, procedures, or guiding practices/principles. This needs to change, if we expect to impact workplace culture and drive company growth, team development, and brand loyalty. It needs to change if a company is determined and committed to developing their team members into highly-productive career employees.

Signs that someone is highly skilled in managing their organizations vision and values:
-They can enthusiastically communicate a compelling and inspired vision and sense of direction of the company’s mission statement
-They talk about the future
-They can inspire individuals and groups through transparent communication
-They are positive and optimisitic
-They act in the best interest of company values and base their business decisions on those principles
-They can galvanize collective action, quickly, to improve challenging business conditions
-They frequently reference and remind their colleagues of company vision and values
-They are confident and engaging when it comes to speaking to business objectives
-They embrace change and can inspire buy-in

Signs that someone is challenged in this area:
-Is not comfortable communicating vision
-Change efforts in their area of responsibility frequently fail
-Isn’t charismatic, engaging or inspiring in their presentation of company initiatives
-Is not forward thinking and usually deal with yesterday and today only
-Inconsistently references company values when it supports their purpose only
-Only embraces a select few of the company values and portions of the vision

Company Vision and Organizational Values need to be active entities. They need to be referenced frequently. These values should be the backbone of recognition, business communication, and business decisions.

Here are some examples of great Organizational Visions and Values (incidentally, a few of these are “2015 Great Place To Work” winners):

1) Starbuck’s Mission and Values

2) The Container Store’s Foundation Principles

3) Company Mission Statements – Complete List of World’s Largest Retail Missions

4) Whole Foods Core Values

5) Build-A-Bear Core Values & Culture

6) Gap’s Guiding Principles

There is a benefit to a transparent, respectful, productive retail organization that builds their brand around a living, breathing set of values. A retail organization that consistently honors their commitments to their employees, as set forth in their Company Vision/Mission Statement, is destined to be more successful than those that do not!

How do you become a champion for this?

-You reintroduce to your team the Organizational Vision and Values
-You reference these during all conference calls and meetings
-You support these through communication during change initiatives
-You can introduce a peer-to-peer recognition program for your area of responsibility that is values based
-Give your team members a value to own each month and speak to on conference calls – rotate these for maximum exposure
-Ask Home Office to publish these, at least quarterly in 2016, for the company to re-educate and drive understanding and behaviors
-Provide guidance to your team based on these principles and always bring behavioral coaching back to organizational values and customer service guidance back to the Company Vision/Mission Statement

For my business, I had super cute tops, tanks, and tee’s made (through CustomizedGirl) with our core values on them – one value per shirt. When we would have someone acknowledge a co-worker for a particular display of one of the values the recipient of the recognition would get a t-shirt for that value. It gained momentum as many of the team members would want to collect all of the shirts/tops. It was a fun way to recognize our team members that were having an impact on the business and a constant reminder of our business principles.

We are only as strong, authentic, genuine, and effective as our company’s vision and values. These are the day-to-day constants that drive our business and engagement and they are only as powerful as Executive and Senior Leadership allow them to be through their behavior and focus on them. These are the core practices and philosophies of business that will support any retailer in achieving the status of The 10 Happiest Retailers To Work For This Year via Forbes.


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail and 18 year retailer. I am a passionate and creative leader and coach committed to inspiring thought, action, truth-telling, solution-seeking, and dialog about how to maximize talent through identifying and creating a process around critical success factors, workplace culture, signature leadership practices, productivity, profitability, alignment of employees and company vision & values, and workplace happiness inside all retail organizations. I help create healthy, vibrant, high-performing, and highly-productive organizations that are talent magnets and focused on delivering the highest level of customer experience that will differentiate them from competition and result in long-term growth and sustainability.

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