4 Keys to Creating a Value Culture

Published May 13, 2019

As the mechanic handed me my bill, I realized that all of this could have been avoided if I would have paid attention and valued a small but important part of my car. During the previous week, my car was making an abnormal sound, but I wrote it off. Eventually, the sound seemed normal to me, and I simply tuned it out. I refused to hear the voice of my car calling out. And while I would say I valued my car; my actions spoke otherwise.

A value culture is embedded in your team ethos and shows people they matter.

Creating value is more than a kind thought. A value culture is created by operationalizing set actionable practices. A value culture is embedded in your team ethos and shows people they matter.

Here are four practices you can put in place today to create a value culture.

1) Pay Attention

Lack of attention can lead to unintentional neglect. Just like the noise in my car, most leaders don’t intentionally neglect their team members. However, when we are consumed by the whirlwind of work, it’s easy to normalize the noise. Pay attention to the deliverables, but pay attention to the words, actions and morale of your team members. If something seems right, praise it. If something feels off, fix it. This can go a long way.

 

2) Listen Well

Creating a space where your team members can contribute and bring concerns is crucial in building a value culture. Leaders desire to be heard and feel like their contribution matters. The systems we create to hear and respond are crucial in this process. However, when you hear this information, it’s vital to create action. Listening without a response creates a culture where individuals feel undervalued and will fail to contribute in the future.

 

3) Train AND Develop

Create efficient training and onboarding systems so team members can feel competent in their work. In addition, make custom development plans so team members can reach their maximum capacity, not just as your employees, but as someone who has untapped potential. In order to do this, you must value your team members as people who can contribute beyond their current position, beyond your team or even beyond your company.

 

4) Customize Compliments

While it’s great to tell your team they are doing a great job and treating them to lunch, it’s better to compliment them on a specific task they completed or behavior they exhibited. For example, as opposed to saying “Lacey, you are doing a great job and you’re an important part of this team.” Try saying: “Lacey, in our meeting the other day you spoke with clarity, conviction and candor on a really hard topic. Thanks for taking risk. These types of conversations can accelerate the growth of our team. Thank you for going first!” This lets your team member know you were paying attention and their contribution mattered to the team. You can also customize the compliment by writing a surprise email, leaving a handwritten note on their desk or offering public appreciation!

When leaders create a value culture, they are displaying to team members that each person matters more for who they are than what they do.

 

When leaders create a value culture, they are displaying to team members that each person matters more for who they are than what they do.

As leaders, our job isn’t to fill their development cup. (That is on them.) However, it is to empty ours. Give your team members everything you have so when they transition, they are better contributors to their places of employment and society as a whole.

Value people, not just their gifts.

Value people, not just their ability to contribute.

When you create this kind of culture, your team will go a long way.

About the Author
Jared Wilkins

Jared Wilkins

Group Life Pastor

Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL)

Jared C. Wilkins is a Group Life Pastor and champion for community life. He leads leaders in developing strategies for creating authentic mid-sized and small group communities at Willow Creek Community Church. He served as a teaching pastor in North Carolina before coming to Willow Creek.

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