by Juliet Hancock

Measuring values and their impact

What gets measured gets done

 - Focus on measuring what matters.
 - Measure it in a way which aligns with your values.
 - Demonstrate your values in what you do with the results.

If values are to be consistently acted out in behaviours, then performance measures must be designed with those values firmly in mind. So, do you measure performance against your corporate values; if so, how? How is it reported and to whom? What happens as a result?

  • When setting your corporate objectives, decide what indicators of success you will include in line with your values and how you will measure these (see setting targets). Do this for team and individual performance targets as well.
  • Include measures, such as using a balanced scorecard (related to customers, staff and community) that will be reported quarterly to the board/executive. Whatever measures you decide to use, make sure they are meaningful. Demonstrate their importance by reporting them to all your stakeholders.
  • Include ‘quantities’, such as staff turnover, sickness and unplanned absence.
  • Productivity, safety, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and the number of grievances are all known to be affected by the level of employee engagement (Gallup). Employee engagement, in turn, is related to the degree to which people’s values are met (see Using values to enhance employee engagement) Set targets in terms of each of these. Also include ‘qualitative’ measures related to customer and staff feedback. Make managers accountable for these.
  • Consider what other metrics you can use that are relevant to your business and reflect your values. One example is the NPS (Net Promoter Score) which measures customer satisfaction and is now used within the NHS: ‘would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family?’
  • Consider using a direct employee engagement measure, such as OCR, and decide how you will use/monitor this (see Using values to enhance employee engagement).
  • Consider using a quarterly ‘pulse’ survey, which asks directly ‘to what extent is the organisation/senior management/my manager living the organisation’s values?’, and publish results by team.
  • Consider which other external measures or accreditation may reflect your values. Chose an accreditation, such as Times 100 Top Companies, Investors in People, Investors in Diversity or the European Quality Model (EFQM), which will be valued by your staff and customers.
  • Discuss, agree and share what action you will be taking, based on the measurement, to focus on the things that matter most to your organisation, staff and customers, and to develop your strengths and address areas where you want improve. Demonstrate your values in the actions you commit to and show results.

97 per cent of the UK’s ‘best workplaces’ cite their business values as a critical contributing factor to their success. Great places to work’s ‘trust index’ compares statements that assess employee’s opinions on their organisations’ values-led behaviour. ‘Management actions match its words’ and ‘Management delivers on its promises’. These correlate directly with high positions in the listing.