Management values are like an invisible guiding force within an organization. They give direction to managers at all levels—and to employees, in turn. Like the leadership values that shape strategic vision and mission, they play an important guiding role in the company’s success.
Managers guide all the teams in an organization to fulfil a given mission. By communicating clear objectives, they fulfil the strategic goals set by top leadership. So, they must fully understand leadership’s vision and motivate employees to achieve it.
Let’s take a closer look at exactly what management values are. Then, we’ll share some best practices for adopting great management values.
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What Are Management Values
How do we define management values? According to Harvard Business Review, “Values are the moral code of an organization—the set of rules you all embrace and abide by that reflect the ethics of the people in the organization and hold everyone accountable to the right standard of behavior.”
These values are the virtues, or principles, that management lives by. They guide all of the following:
- A manager’s relationships and interactions with employees
- Decision-making processes
- Business decisions
- Relationships with clients
- Workplace processes
- Communication norms
As you can see, management values shape every aspect of a company. Let’s discuss what that means in more depth.
The Importance of Good Management Values
Management values influence every employee, process, and decision in a company. So, they play a key role in its success. In fact, your values are shaping your success whether you realize it or not. That holds true whether you have strong management values or poorly defined ones. Let’s examine the far-reaching benefits of well-defined values.
Benefits of Having Good Management Values
Management values translate into company values. When management lives strong values and centres them in their practice, employees follow suit.
Having great management values improves business. Why? It leads clients to view management as highly capable and ethical. It positively influences how managers behave and support employees. And it shapes your identity as a company, showing people who you are. As a result, they trust the organization to meet their needs.
Moreover, teams with shared values tend to be higher performing.
Further, candidates today want a culture that aligns with their values. They’re more likely to accept a job—and stay longer—with such a company. So, articulating and living strong management values will speak to them.
Consequences of Having Bad Management Values
Without clearly defined values, managers may be guided by the wrong values. Of course, some may naturally possess excellent management values. But others may not. Fear of failure or desire for individual success could cause managers to lead with poor values if left unchecked.
Such managers could also impart the wrong values to their employees. People they mentor will misunderstand what makes great leadership. As a result, managers will spread the wrong values throughout their teams. This will harm client relationships, communication, and outcomes.
Strong Management Values
Here are some of the most crucial management values. You may come up with others of your own!
Managers should strive to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Doing so is foundational to group harmony.
Likewise, every manager must follow a strong code of ethics. This means following through on commitments and treating others with respect. Such managers demonstrate a high level of integrity.
Managers must prioritize constantly. Often, they confront competing priorities and don’t have the luxury of boundless time. Being pragmatic will help them meet their goals.
Strong relationships and group harmony are imperative. Management should work to build a strong rapport with each person, getting to know them as people. Managers and employees should do the same with their clients.
Managers should facilitate group and one-on-one collaboration. They can suggest ways that employees could work together. Plus, they can encourage them to explore new ways of collaborating across roles.
By displaying passion in their own work, management will build their team’s energy. They’ll remind their team of what they love about their work every day.
Management and employees should prioritize sharing honest and constructive feedback. Transparency among management will also create a positive workplace culture. Plus, managers should work to draw out employees’ ideas and opinions.
Managers should model resilience so their teams will follow suit. Resilience shows strength and empowers people to move forward after a setback.
Managers must serve their employees reliably. They must patiently move the team toward its goals each day. Acting consistently builds trust and supports the team in growing skills.
Good managers also demonstrate courage, inspiring bravery in their people. They tackle challenges rather than avoiding them.
In addition to giving constructive feedback, managers should share gratitude often. This will build their team’s confidence.
Managers with an open mind will avoid making hasty judgments. As a result, they’ll understand people and situations more fully.
The best managers know how to set a plan but then adapt as needed. They know that every leader must correct course at times. So, they act on their feet quickly.
Great managers problem-solve continuously using the available resources. They inspire others to do so as well by using their ingenuity.
Anticipating issues allows managers to solve them before they become big problems. So, good managers are always looking ahead. They strive to mitigate, resolve, and move beyond potential hurdles.
You may think of additional values that you hold important. If so, great! Choose values that speak to you and are important to your success.
Inspiring Quotes About Management Values
We’ve compiled some of our favourite quotes on management. They come from a range of leaders and authors with management expertise.
- “Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.” – Paul Hawken
- “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Tend to the people, and they will tend to the business.” – John Maxwell
- “Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” – Sheryl Sandberg
- “Management’s job is to convey leadership’s message in a compelling and inspiring way. Not just in meetings, but also by example.” – Jeffrey Gitomer
- “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard
- “The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success.” – James Cash Penney
- “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” – Diana Scharf
Now, we’ll get into the nuts and bolts of creating management values.
How to Identify and Develop Strong Management Values
Let’s explore ways to identify your core management values. Then, we’ll discuss how to share them throughout a company.
Consider the Culture You Want to Create
Think about the team culture that works best in your organization. What qualities does the team need to have? What qualities do your best people demonstrate? Are you lacking any crucial qualities? Write down the ones that come to mind. The qualities most central to building that culture might just be core values.
Look at Your Core Priorities
Reflect on your vision and mission statements. What qualities come to mind? Think of words you would use to describe your vision and mission.
Discuss Your Values with Managers
You could involve all managers in developing a set of shared values. Through group discussion, you can identify the most crucial values. Or, top leaders can share the values they want managers to adopt.
We suggest involving managers in the process so they’ll feel more invested. Plus, they’ll bring vital insights to the table.
Centre Values in Company Materials
Incorporate the most key values into language in materials like these:
- Company posters
- Employee handbook
- Marketing materials
Share these values in materials that employees and clients will encounter routinely. This will keep them front of mind. If you have a physical office, post them on the wall in a visible place. Design an eye-catching poster and email outlining them. Managers should also introduce them at meetings and refer back to them often.
Highlight stories that show your values in action, as John Goleman writes in HBR. Create employee profiles or stories for your newsletter or social media. Share a short video about an award you gave a manager or employee. Such stories will show you’ve successfully spread these values throughout the organization.
As you share these values, you may notice your culture shifting. Positive changes may enhance teams’ performance and productivity. Group harmony may increase, along with collaboration. When managers at every level share a set of common values, they’ll spread far and wide!
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