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Values Exercises to Build Vision in Your Company

admin July 08, 2024

Here is a series of exercises I’ve cobbled together that hopefully can help you identify, develop and nurture your team’s values. After all, is there any better form of intrinsic motivation than doing what we value and valuing what we do?

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250 Big Values to Choose from:


Download a free PDF of the 250 Big Values 

Share this list with your team. Allow each teammate to pick five values that they believe are important for each of these groups:

  1. For your company or team
  2. For your hiring process or new team members
  3. For your customer service

For each grouping, throw the words up on a board and work as a team to whittle them down to five each.

What can you do with your Team Values?

Create a Mission Statement. These values can be looked at as starting off points for your team, company and/or service mission statements. This can be simply an internal mission statement or you can share it proudly on your website, display it at the entrance of your office, add to your social media profiles and so much more.

From previous experience on a rapidly growing startup, I would actually suggest each person write down five values for each of these three groups:

  • For your company
  • For your hiring process
  • For your customer service

Combine like words and narrow down to five for each. Together turn these into three separate mission statements.

Values Exercises to Build Vision in Your Company

Here’s an example of a not a great company but the result of running this rebranding exercise using these Values words to create a three-tiered mission statement — in this case, customers, end users and employees.

Make sure the final draft of a mission statement — which should be displayed prominently around the office and on the website and any recruitment like LinkedIn — is keyword-optimized for the industry.

Create a Values Expo. Similar to a Work Expo, a Values Expo is an interactive physical display of your values. It’s a great way to visualize your Mission Statement or just to remind you of your shared values. It can include your value words, photos of your teammates, kudo cards and other symbols of peer-to-peer recognition and gratitude, notes from satisfied customers, and anything else that you and your team feel symbolize your team values. You can have one Values Expo or you can have one for each of your target value groups.

Share Value Stories. Whether you are in face-to-face meetings or just chatting in a communication or collaboration too, it’s good to share stories that get to your team values, where you share both experiences that reinforce your values or–often frustratingly–go against your core values.

Our team shares our value stories on a dedicated Slack channel, while other teams add those stories to their Work Expo or share them in weekly retrospectives.

Value-based Merit Money and Kudos. Chapter 16 of #Workout offers you a more detailed explanation of the phenomenon called merit money which is a peer recognition system where you give points, hugs or funny money to your colleagues along with a note of acknowledgement, similar to a kudo. Eventually, this acknowledgement can turn into unexpected bonuses, gifts, or just feel-good moments.

Our own team at Management 3.0 uses Bonusly employee recognition tool to share our recognition within our team and to tally our points. We can’t give away any merit money in Bonusly without offering reasoning and attaching at least one of up-to-nine team values.

Repeat. Reuse. Recycle. Your team values should evolve as much as your team itself. As new team members join and as your company’s focus changes, it’s good to repeat this exercise, not throwing important values away, but by pivoting your focus as essential values surface.

Want to learn about individual values?

Sometimes, 250 values seems like a lot. A quicker way to get to the crux of teammates’ and potential teammates’ intrinsic motivation is by playing Moving Motivators one-on-one or as a team.  We narrow the list down to our ten CHAMPFROGS values:

  • Curiosity
  • Honor
  • Acceptance
  • Mastery
  • Power
  • Freedom
  • Relatedness
  • Order
  • Goal
  • Status

Follow these instructions for Moving Motivators or make up your own to discuss which values matter most to your team. You can buy your own decks of Moving Motivators here.

SOURCE: Management 3.0.

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