Delivering a successful values workshop with your team

Delivering a successful values workshop with your team

22 Feb 2022

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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.

How to conduct a values workshop

What will I need to conduct a values workshop?

To encourage honest and open discussion, we recommended taking things right back to basics and sticking to a classic whiteboard for taking notes. Pens and post-it notes are also essential to encourage team participation and to gather as many thoughts and ideas as possible.

Step 1: Collate your responses

Remember to collate the responses to your survey before the workshop commences – this will be a good indication of your team’s initial thoughts and are perfect conversation-starters. Another great starting point is always your purpose – why do you exist? By discussing this, you can talk further about how your values will help to deliver this.

Step 2: Rank in order of importance

Get your post-it’s at the ready and ask attendees to each identify 10 values that they feel best represent the company culture and to rank them in order of importance. As the workshop leader, use your whiteboard and encourage engagement at this point.

Step 3: Discuss, discuss, discuss

Now you have your top 10 values, take time to talk through each value in detail. Listen to people’s thoughts to collaboratively agree on what’s most important to your company. With a larger group, separating your members into subgroups will help here so you can take time to listen carefully to everyone’s thoughts.

After further discussion, you may find that you choose to keep all 10 values, or you may find that some are similar and can therefore be removed or refined. Whatever your final number of values, make sure each one is authentic to your organisation, what makes you unique and resonates with your audience – always choose quality over quantity!

Step 4: Refine your wording

At this stage, you may find it beneficial to end your workshop to allow quality time to refine the wording of your values - the way they are articulated is just as important.

Step 5: Feedback and revisions

Once you have truly digested the workshop and have refined wording, it’s time to share an initial draft with your team. Ask them to consider the values in terms of the questions at the beginning of this post as they will determine whether your values resonate with your brand and team.

Collect feedback, make necessary amendments, and share updated drafts to keep your team involved throughout the whole process. This back-and-forth process is essential for creating a final draft that you and your team are happy with and that truly encapsulates your brand.

Step 6: Roll out your values

Once your values are finalised, share them widely and discuss their importance and how they are true to your organisation and will help propel your organisation forward. Plans can now begin to share these values with your customers through marketing materials, campaigns and further projects – definitely the most exciting part!

Step 7: Practice what you preach

Well done! Your values are now created but the next step is to make sure the values remain alive in your organisation every day. Consider implementing incentives to keep employees engaged and including values in promotion plans and employee reviews to ensure your values are more than just words and are enacted every day.

Defining authentic values is not only good for the motivation and satisfaction of your existing employees but is beneficial for driving your brand internally and externally, as well as attracting new talent. You don’t want to skip building values in your marketing strategy.

Transforming the way you work every day, building skills around applied learning and gaining functional skills is what we’re passionate about here at Fabric and we’re here to help you strive.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Fabric Academy, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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Fabric Academy

Fabric Academy

For more information from Fabric Academy, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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