Gerard Crowley, co-director of corporate team building business Team Challenge Company, reflects on the growing demand for vision and values training
As we now begin to move out of recession, businesses which have been in firefighting mode, or having to switch to different markets or resize to survive, are now looking to the future.
Businesses are looking to regroup, solidify their market position, refocus on their business priorities and re-energise demoralised staff following redundancies.
Most CEOs understand that a clearly defined vision and set of values is essential to drive business success. Organisations need all staff to know in which direction they are headed and what they are trying to achieve in order to reach a collective goal. This is often well understood at the board level, but much like turning an oil tanker, it will never be achieved without engaging and bringing the staff on the journey.
At Team Challenge Company our experiential trainers have been delivering vision and values training for 10 years and have seen an increase in demand over the last four years with revenue from this section of the business up by 25%. We believe this increase is linked to the UK beginning to get back on its feet after the recession.
The businesses our experienced trainers support range from growing SMEs to large multinational organisations. These businesses are telling us that after years of just surviving they are looking to refocus their teams again and ensure that everyone clearly understands the organisations ambitions and their role in achieving these.
Over the years we have seen that businesses who develop and live their vision and values have experienced far reaching positive influences. The main benefits are:
Unified staff – enabling teams to understand and work towards a common goal;
Employees feeling motivated, empowered and inspired;
Promotion of company-wide understanding of product and services;
Creation of purpose within teams at every level of business;
Promotion of strategic planning – each staff member can prioritise the tasks which will help get them closer to the company goals;
When a change or shift is necessary – strong vision and values, can often help staff have more confidence in the company’s direction.
Some of the most successful businesses throughout history have had a very clear idea of their values and a vision of what their organisation is and where it is going. Vision and values statements are relatively new in corporate culture and it goes without saying that companies have been successful in the past without having their statements hanging on every wall. However, it is generally agreed that they are the best way to motivate staff to seeing their value in helping the organisation achieve its goals.
Creating and implementing an organisation’s vision and values statement can be challenging for any board. They must describe an ideal future without becoming unachievable, as this can lead to employees feeling demotivated. Our experience in supporting boards in developing their vision and values means that we can find the perfect way to engage their staff through training to help them understand and live them.
Five tips to keep vision and values alive:
Involve the team and keep them informed of progress in the development of the vision and values – this will help staff feel engaged in the process and also that the vision and values are credible – increasing the chance of their success;
Write them in plain English so staff don’t dismiss them as business jargon;
Include them in the business recruitment and selection processes;
Train staff to understand what their role is in bringing them to life;
Share examples of staff living the vision and values.
AG BARR, famed makers of Irn Bru, recently carried out our vision and values training which they described as “probably the best team activity [they] have ever done where everyone got involved and Barr Behaviours were incorporated throughout the day.”
Ian Johnstone, Scotland Impulse controller at AG Barr, said: “At Barr we believe it is each and every one of our 1,000 employees across our 10 sites living our Barr Behaviours that ensures our success today, and will ensure even greater successes in the future.
“Our Barr Behaviours set the tone for how we operate as a modern business and include; being brilliant, always learning, being results driven and having relationships that deliver.
“Our Barr Behaviours are not just inspirational words pinned to a wall, they are a framework for who we are, how we work, what we believe and how we behave. We believe that businesses who want everyone to make consistent everyday decisions and who are united by a common sense of purpose – then developing and living vision and values statements is essential.”