Last week I wrote about transparency of decision making as transparency builds trust. Staff can see how the values of the organisation have been applied.

But what if your organisational values are obfuscated? That is, you have not stated them explicitly, explained them or done your best to ensure all staff understand them?

First, staff may be confused as to how the organisation’s values have been applied in a given situation. Worse, leaders may chop and change when applying values to decisions they make. This can be quite inadvertent because of our own shortcomings when it comes to unconscious bias.

Have a think about some of the bigger mistakes made in your organisation in the past year or two. Was there a deviation from the organisation’s values? If so, do you think your organisation’s values are clear enough? If not, clarifying them is an obvious next step.

If the deviation was from a very clear organisational value, it gets a bit more complicated. Was the deviation intentional? If so, was it one-off or systemic?

If not intentional, was it an issue of employee lack of awareness of their actions or was it a lack of good and timely information to the right people?

No matter the cause, these challenges can be addressed. It just takes thoughtfulness and commitment.

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