Involving trusted customers, suppliers and/or partners as you define your core business values and behaviours can give you a valuable, independent perspective on what it is like to work with your business. In turn, this can help you assess whether there is a gap between what your business says and does on an everyday basis.
Those you approach need to be people who know your business well and have been working with or alongside you for some time. You need to know that they will give you open and honest feedback. If you are the person with primary responsibility for the relationship you should ask another senior manager to do this for you.
Sample questions on business values
Every business will have different issues or areas that it wants to explore but here are some sample questions:
- How would you describe the organisation and the way it does business in three words or phrases?
- What do you see as the core values that underpin the way this organisation does business?
- How do you experience those business values in action - can you give examples?
- Are there any gaps between what the business says and what it does - are there any specific examples?
- Does your experience of working with the business vary depending on the people you deal with?
Share the main themes with all your employees when you communicate business values to employees. Also let them know how these business values can help the organisation achieve its aims.