Pulling the Lever: Using Values to Drive Business Results

“In over 20 years of research, I’ve never seen correlations like this.”

Dr. Paul H. Eccher, president of Vaya Group, a talent optimization and organizational assessment firm, points at the spreadsheet in his hands. “The results are so strong, it’s undeniable.”

Eccher is talking about the Organizational Values Inventory (OVI), a tool developed by CVDL to help companies measure how well an organization puts its values into practice. According to Eccher, whose company conducted the statistical analysis, the results show a remarkably strong correlation between specific values-related actions and the business outcomes executives want most: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and a culture of high performance.

The analysis included responses from over 150 organizations. Most companies scored highest on their ability to identify and communicate their values clearly to employees and other stakeholders. And while this is an important first step, the OVI reveals that other factors are more effective in improving business results.

Eccher says four things top the list:
  1. Consistent leadership words and actions,
  2. Investment in values dialogue and education, 
  3. A culture (including rewards and sanctions) that supports the values, and 
  4. Tools to integrate the values into day-to-day decision making. 
“When those four things are in place, it’s almost like you’re pulling a lever, and the result is exceptionally high employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and performance improvement," says Eccher. "These are the companies that can sustain a competitive advantage over the long term.”

The OVI identifies four types of organizations based on the interplay of organizational values processes and systems with values leadership and culture. In companies with a strong culture around values, and equally strong processes and support systems, the values become a competitive advantage that yields sustainable business results.

To use the OVI to measure the strength of your company’s values, contact CVDL at info@cvdl.org.

To learn more about Vaya Group and Dr. Eccher’s new book, Optimizing Talent, visit www.vayapath.com.

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