Core values as a replacement for bureaucracy – tips for a successful implementation

Published on 10-03-2020

It is not news that abolishing complex administrative structures has many advantages. Increasing employee engagement, an accelerated decision-making process and greater agility and flexibility are just a few examples. In order to achieve this, however, one has to take a step that many companies are afraid of: the abolition of protocols, rules and procedures.

Core values replace bureaucracy

One of the strongest tools on the way to less bureaucracy are clear basic values. Getting rid of rigid rules goes hand in hand with more responsibility and flexibility for employees. This increasing autonomy will not only increase employee productivity, but also their commitment and identification with the company. However, it should be noted that if rigid rules and protocols are no longer available, the basic values of a company are new points of orientation for employees and therefore should not only be defined theoretically, but also put into practice.

4 tips on how to put words into action

1. Make core values part of the recruiting process

Companies with clear values attract similarly oriented applicants. It is no longer a secret that a recruiting strategy based on Culture Fit not only attracts more suitable applicants, but also reduces the likelihood of misuse. It is important to make the defined basic values clearly visible to applicants.

Spotify is a good example of this concept: The company advertises with the slogan “We hire for talent and train for skills”. This illustrates the priority of a cultural match over years of experience or other professional qualifications.

2. Make core values part of the day-to-day decision-making processes

Most pioneering companies have long since abandoned a rule-based decision-making process. Instead, they are guided by their basic internal values. As already mentioned, basic values serve as a guide for employees to make decisions within the scope of the company’s visions.

Reading tip: Diversity Management – A culture based management approach

3. Turn management into a role model

For an active corporate culture, it is inevitable that core values are lived and preached, especially by the management. This not only increases the general understanding, but also creates a good mission statement for employees. A practical implementation would be, for example, to inform new employees in workshops and presentations about the core values, mission and vision of a company. Of course, this is particularly motivating when the boss himself gives the presentation.

4. Reward employees who live up to the values

The British UKTV network rewards employees who excel. However, in this case, ‘outstanding performance’ does not mean to end a successful project, but focuses solely on following the values of the organisation. According to UKTV, one cannot speak of teamwork as one of the company’s core values and then prefer to reward individual achievements.

This blog post was inspired by the following source: “Turning Fuzzy Core Values Into A Practical Tool For Busting Bureaucracy“.

You can find examples of companies that have successfully put their core values into practice here.

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