Our core values are slipping. Any ideas?

Dear Aunty B,


We are a medium sized business and just got caught by a client taking a short cut. We had won a large tender and part of the conditions was it should all be done in-house. A small part was outsourced, it stuffed up, and we got caught out.


The worst part about it is that my 2IC gave the nod because we have no staff, no time and no money to do things properly! While that part of it is obviously my fault, I wondered, as we grow on thin air, how I reinforce values so this doesn’t happen again?


Steven S,



Dear Steven,

Look, the real question here is how do you restructure to put in the processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again. You have obviously reached the stage where another layer of structures and systems needs to be implemented. It also sounds like you are under-capitalised. But hey, let’s address the question you have asked.


As you grow, it can be a great idea to incorporate values at the centre of your organisation. One quick simple way to do this is to reiterate your values as you announce results or goals at every meeting you hold. For example: “Our commitment to providing the best [gadget] with the most attentive [service] has paid off again with…”


Another idea is to hold a bi-annual values conference. Get everyone together, outline the key values and then offer some rewards for employees who have exhibited those values. Have a look at a few examples in your industry where values have come second and the corresponding fallout from that.


Reinforce that values are at the core of your organisation. Use any opportunity such as a farewell, birthday or Christmas party to reiterate values. And always lead by example. Your employees do as you do, remember.


Good luck!

Your Aunty B.

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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