Energy Intelligent Leaders Part 2 - Aligning values
The second characteristic of the Energy Intelligent Leader is their role in aligning company values in the workplace. It’s vital that the way the company operates i.e. its values and beliefs are set out clearly as this makes a huge difference in recruiting and retaining staff as well as sending out clear messages to customers about ‘what we stand for’. The Chief Executive or Managing Director will want to review all of these and should engage all the existing staff in the process I outline in my book, Energy Intelligence at Work-A New Leadership Theory . Clarity on workplace values and the behaviours expected to realise them will ensure employees are motivated to perform because their values and beliefs are shared and aligned.
As I mentioned on page 85 in my book, Radian is a large housing association and care provider in the south of England. It has gone through a significant transformation over the last five years. When three housing associations merged to form Radian, it was beset with behavioural challenges. The three housing associations had very different values. One for example, acted like a ‘family’ (which was fine if you were a ‘relative’, but not so good if you were a ‘stranger’). Like most families, behaviour when functional revealed a close-knit community of staff who cared, and when dysfunctional, there were falling outs and an inability to integrate with others ‘not like them’. Other areas of the organisation were far more commercial in their outlook, others more service driven. Quite naturally, people were uncertain about the motives of others in the group, where they would be in the ‘pecking order’ and behaviour now deemed as unacceptable was tolerated because there wasn’t a clear set of expectations on how to act.
Lindsay Todd, its new Chief Executive, recognised that a set of organisational values would underpin the mission and vision he was creating for Radian and would signal to employees the principals and standards of behaviour expected.
Radian’s values Choice, Opportunity, Trust were created by the leadership team and staff. Lindsay Todd took personal ownership of the values, committing himself to road-shows where he personally explained how he would like the values interpreted by employees in the way they behaved towards each other and their customers. Over time, Radian’s values have been underpinned by a behaviours framework and are used on all promotional materials including staff recruitment and performance management.