About ten years ago I worked for DaVita, a dialysis company. It was interesting to say the least and it was definitely not like any other company I had ever worked for. Every boss, manager, coworker seemed absolutely obsessed with the company's Core Values. They quoted the core values in conversation, in meetings, and in emails...for real, an email exchange would be written like this:
Dear Boss, As you know we are scheduled for our monthly Quality Assurance Meeting next Thursday.
I'm writing to request approval for a lunch budget of $250. The lunch will be for meeting participants as well as team mates who are working the day of the meeting. For those not working on Thursday, we will have a small lunch served on Friday. This request is in support of the following Core Values: Team, Continuous Improvement, Accountability and Fun.
Thanks, Employee -- Can you explain why this would promote Accountability.
Hey Boss, We should be accountable to all teammates - it would be unfair to leave out those who are not working on Thursday - they contribute to our Continuous Quality goals and we should be accountable to them.
The Core Values were literally worked in to everything. As I received more training I found out that there was more. There was Davita Way of Team, DaVita Way of Management, DaVita Way of Leadership.....and many more.
At first all these core values and ways of doing things were sort of annoying, then they became a reference for pretty much all my work decisions. I started thinking about them in terms of my daily life. Not that the values and methods were bad or wrong, but they didn't really apply to my real life.
So, I called a meeting of my BFF and Hubby. Actually, many phone calls, in person events, emails and text messages. We hashed and rehashed what mattered to us. We made lists, argued, crossed things out, researched, and kept talking things over. It was sort of a joke, sort of a way to pass the time, but also a really good way to drill down and find out what really mattered to us.
I'll share more about our final document in future posts later....but for now, have you REALLY thought about what matters to you? Is having fun important? Or being funny? Is being kind important....or is honesty. Is good health important....or is saving money more important.
Our values inform our way of life, our way of doing things and so many of our decisions. Not only this -- the results we get depend on our values and how we do things....so, lets talk about this some more.
Share your thoughts in the comments below. What do you REALLY value?
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