The Transformative Power of Aligning Project Objectives with the Company’s Core Values

In the dynamic landscape of the business world, company values serve as the bedrock that defines a company’s culture and intricately influences its decision-making processes. This is important when steering toward the goals and continuous success.

Let’s explore why company values are indispensable to the very fabric of thriving companies. How joining people around these core values, and furthermore, how aligning project objectives with those shared values, will super-boost businesses.

The best workplaces grow from their roots

 What propels certain companies, such as Bain & Company, to rank #1 (ref. Glassdoor) as the best workplace in US & UK in 2024?

Is it attributable solely to their attractive compensation reward packages? Could it be the result of leadership teams diligently working to create a happy, motivated, and efficient workforce? Or could it stem from a strong focus on fostering open communication and teamwork?

The truth is that continuous success demands all of the above and extends even beyond them. A unique culture of success has its strong roots in the company’s “True North,” its fundamental core values.

Bain & Company employees attest:

“The culture has been one of the most supportive and collaborative environments I’ve ever worked in. Bain truly values its people and invests heavily in their development, whether that means providing extensive training programs, offering opportunities to work on high-impact projects, or simply fostering a sense of community and belonging.” (Glassdoor and Bain & Company)

Instilling fundamental core values creates a culture of success

At its core, the backbone of a company’s culture is built upon its core values. They serve as collective personal, ethical, moral, and ideological guidelines, establishing standards for all aspects of business operations, from hiring up to decision-making and strategic planning, across all levels. Thus, a company’s culture is expressed by the collective behavior of its people.

 By establishing a shared understanding of what company values are, a sense of unity, cohesion, and shared purpose among the employees can be reached. Clearly defined values help align employees with the company’s mission and goals. When employees understand and resonate with these values, they become more engaged, motivated, and committed to contributing to the organization’s success.

Company values also provide a framework for decision-making within the organization. If/when employees face dilemmas or need to make choices, company values serve as a compass, ensuring that decisions align with the organization’s principles. Companies with clear and live-by values are better equipped to navigate challenges and changes as these values provide a stable foundation that endures over time, contributing to the long-term sustainability of the organization and, ultimately, the company.

And do not forget how relationships are strengthened when company values align with those of customers. Customers often prefer to engage with companies that share their values and principles, leading to increased loyalty and satisfaction. Incorporating ethical considerations and standards into company values promotes responsible and ethical behavior within the organization. This is crucial for maintaining trust with stakeholders and avoiding legal or reputational issues.

Companies with well-defined values also attract employees who align with those principles. This, in turn, leads to a more satisfied, efficient and engaged workforce, fostering employee retention and long-term commitment. Values also act as a catalyst for innovation and adaptability as they provide an encouraging foundation for creativity and problem-solving within the framework of the company’s principles.

Positive brand images are built by consistently upholding company values. Demonstrating a commitment to these values both internally and externally attracts customers, clients, and partners who share similar principles.

Understand what core values are

Core values are not one-recipe-fits-all, as businesses differ, and so must the individual values that define their goals and mission. Core values are not to be mixed with slogans, catchphrases, or buzzwords, nor are they descriptions of work.

Core values are unique to each company and its organization. They articulate why your business stands out and ensure a specific level of conduct and expectations.

Defining core values is a collective endeavor involving not only the top management. A wider spread of individuals in the company should have an opportunity to contribute with their perspectives. This inclusive approach fosters a sense of ownership and inspires each person to uphold the guiding principles they actively helped to shape.

Ideally, company core values align with its people’s personal values. Active collaboration between top management and employees ensures that strategic business goals are considered while still benefiting from the valuable insights and perspectives of the entire workforce.

“Company values are not mere words; they are to be embraced and lived by every individual, resonating with intrinsic worth throughout the company, from its foundation to the top. Values are intrinsic guides that shape every action within the company and define the essence of each employee’s contribution.”

– Anders BE Eklund

Linking core values to actions

Establishing the core values marks the important initial phase. Real integration occurs when these values materialize into observable behaviors and results within a company’s culture. For values to transcend mere rhetoric, they must be evident in the day-to-day actions, decisions, and interactions of every member of the company.

When implementing core values, it is imperative to establish a clear set of expected behaviors. For instance, if “transparent communication” is a core value, a corresponding behavior may involve proactively sharing both positive and negative news with team members.

Team leaders and managers are to embody these company values as they set the standard for the rest of the organization. Furthermore, it is crucial to incorporate values-based behaviors into performance assessments. Recognizing and rewarding employees and consistently exhibiting these behaviors creates a positive feedback loop, reinforcing the importance of aligning with the company’s values.

Regular training sessions that focus on the practical application of values in diverse workplace scenarios are to be conducted. These workshops assist employees in internalizing and applying the values in their daily activities and procedures.

Maintaining open communication allows employees to provide feedback on how well they perceive the company and their colleagues adhering to the defined values and behaviors. This fosters collective accountability and facilitates continuous refinement of values and associated behaviors.

By deliberately connecting values with behaviors, you transform abstract concepts into a dynamic ethos that shapes the company’s identity and culture from within.

Impact of aligning project objectives with the company’s core values

Based on a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, 93% of executives consider the alignment of values and objectives to be a crucial factor in the success of projects. Furthermore, companies demonstrating a robust alignment between their values and objectives are reported to be five times more likely to surpass their competitors. Implementing company values can turbo-boost businesses.

A study conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) reveals that 68% of projects exhibiting a high alignment between organizational values and project objectives were successfully completed within the specified timeframe and budget.

These industry insights highlight the significant impact of aligning values and objectives in projects and underline the imperative for project managers to prioritize this alignment for enhanced chances of success.

The alignment of project objectives with company values emerges as an important foundation for success. As discussed earlier, this alignment not only provides clear direction but also nurtures a strong company culture, ensures consistency, and facilitates effective communication. By adhering to the key takeaways highlighted above, project managers can navigate these ventures with a heightened likelihood of success and deliver outstanding results.

10 + 1 practical steps to harmonize project objectives with company values

  1. Leading by example: Lead by example by demonstrating the company values in day-to-day processes and behavior. Showcase how adherence to values contributes to successful project outcomes and business success.
  2. Integration in project planning: Integrate company values into project planning and all decision-making processes. Define and formulate project objectives that reflect and reinforce the organization’s core values.
  3. Clear communication: Clearly define project objectives, ensure that they align with the organization’s mission and values, and communicate them regularly to ensure that everyone understands how their work contributes to the broader corporate goals.
  4. Employee involvement: Encourage employee input while setting project objectives and aligning them with company values. Involve team members in the decision-making processes to foster a sense of ownership.
  5. Cross-functional collaboration: Encourage collaboration between different departments for efficiency and to ensure that projects are aligned with overall company goals. Facilitate communication between teams to promote a cohesive company culture.
  6. Training and development: Provide training programs that are based on and reinforce company values and connect them to the other skills required for project success. Teach and emphasize the importance of values for new team members during the introduction process.
  7. Performance metrics: Establish performance metrics that measure both project success and adherence to company values. Recognize and reward individuals and teams that exemplify the company’s values in their successful project work.
  8. Regular assessments: Conduct regular follow-ups and assessments to ensure that projects remain in alignment with company values and targets. Make required adjustments to project objectives if they deviate from the company values. Learn from past projects to improve future alignment.
  9. Adaptability and flexibility: Be adaptable to changes in the business environment and update project objectives accordingly while ensuring they remain aligned with company values. Foster a culture that values continuous improvement and learning.
  10. Ethical decision-making: Emphasize the importance of ethical and moral decision-making in project management. Provide guidance on how to navigate dilemmas while achieving project objectives.

10 +1 Feedback: Establish feedback mechanisms for employees to voice suggestions or concerns regarding the alignment of projects with company values or other matters. Use feedback to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

 

Company values, to conclude

In a successful company, the fusion of core values and project objectives is the catalyst for transformative progress. Shared values play an important role when shaping a culture of success and workplace excellence. Instilling company values in organizational behavior creates powerful unity.

“Shared values and culture unite people. Strategic roadmaps alone do not.”

– Anders BE Eklund

The company’s core values must never be mere rhetoric, but a collaborative daily effort. The magical potency of company values lies in the workforce behavior, where leaders lead by example and set standards that permeate the whole fabric of the company. The convergence of values, objectives, and the mindset of the workforce is not luxury but a necessity, as evidenced by surveys and studies emphasizing its important role in project success. Practical ways of working, such as clear communication, leadership examples, employee involvement, and continuous training, become the guideposts for companies seeking alignment. In such a powerful alignment, success becomes not just achievable but inevitable.

Leader, let the compass of aligned values and objectives become the guiding force to steer your company toward a future where success is not merely a momentary outcome but a way of living.

The transformative power of converging company values is the undervalued asset of a thriving company.

Do you work in a core value-driven company?

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