This informal CPD article on Delivering a successful values workshop with your team was provided by Fabric Academy, a marketing training academy with over 20 years’ experience empowering the most ambitious marketers to thrive.
Delivering a successful values workshop
Company values go beyond marketing, they are a fundamental part of any organisation’s identity. No matter the size of business, establishing clear values is key in securing internal buy-in and getting the whole team on board to live and breathe your brand.
But why do they matter when it comes to marketing? Effective marketing puts customers first through building meaningful connections and defining what you value as a brand. Loyalty and customer advocacy is built through an alignment of these values, so it’s important every individual in the business is behind them.
Values extend far beyond the branding team. They should resonate with every single employee, and alongside your customer's view of your business, they should offer insight and be truly meaningful. By aligning values to target audiences, marketing teams can increase engagement and build brand loyalty. However, your values must always be authentic before they are communicated.
You can determine whether your organisation’s values are truly cutting to the core of your brand by asking yourself the following questions:
- Are the values important to your organisation and employees?
- Can they be used to guide people when making a decision?
- Do they embody the parts of the organisation the team are most proud of?
- Are they things you will still believe in years to come?
- Are they being enacted daily by the people within your organisation?
If the answer is no to even just one of these questions, you run the risk of building a marketing and communications strategy that is built on inauthentic brand values that are not true to your organisation and customers. This is where so many organisations get it wrong.
Having your values sound nice on paper is one thing but actually living your values authentically is another. Many businesses fail to invest in their values, their staff and their resources to make sure the values are practiced every day. Organisations who take this shortcut can be called out by their customers which can negatively impact the brand. People buy into brands who truly put their values into action.
But don’t fear, in marketing, you have the power to influence - with one foot within your team and the other amongst your customers, you can deliver a successful values workshop that will help your team collaboratively build authentic and honest values.
Planning your workshop
Planning your workshop ahead of time will help ensure the session runs smoothly. We recommend inviting no more than 30 people to your workshop to encourage proper engagement and dedicating around 2 hours for the workshop. To get started, send a survey ahead of time to your invitees with the following questions to get thoughts rolling:
- What do you personally value?
- How should we interact and deliver services/products to our customers? What values should shape this interaction?
- What values have helped us be successful this far?
- What values do the most successful employees share?
- What does your organisation stand for?
- What character traits does your organisation embody?
Your invitees should include representatives from across your team. Don’t be tempted to only invite senior management as this will skew your discussions – invite team members from all levels for honest conversations.