I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to be able to work in HR for small, medium and large corporations. Each company I worked for was great it in its own way with some great people.

At its most basic level all of the companies I worked for had a Mission Statement and Goals. The Mission Statement and Goals varied, but they all translated into some variation of; make Customers as happy as possible within reason, and along the way make sure the company is more profitable than the previous year by having staff to do that.

When I think back,  some of the companies I worked for had clearly defined values, or subtle non-documented cultural values (e.g. for sales staff, though shalt not steal your colleagues client, or something to that affect). Most of the time however, you would have to dig pretty deep into that bottom drawer of fluffy induction material to dust off what sort of values the organisation ascribed to.

Being in HR there would always be horror stories surfacing about ill-behaved staff members that left a ripple wave of disruption among their team. Some were even in my team.

I would have loved to been able to lean on well-developed inclusively adopted values such as “We do what we say we’ll do” or “We practice open, real communication” or “We do the right thing.” I can’t help but think it would have been so much easier to say “hey Bob”, or “hey Mary” “you said you would get me that report yesterday and it’s been over a week. Come on, we all agree we will do what we say we’ll do.”

In business today, values are becoming increasingly important. Good families have good values. Good companies should have good values. Lots of SME’s are family companies, and lots of SME’s want to be like big families.

Don’t underestimate the value of values.