What Are Workplace Behaviors?
Workplace behaviors are observable actions that support the organization’s core values and drive the culture. These behaviors are the defined expectations for how to act at work and are the standard by which employee actions are assessed. All workplace behavior definitions should align to the mission and further the vision.
Why Are Workplace Behaviors Important?
Employees have 107% higher employee engagement when their company has detailed what specific behaviors are necessary to live their company values according to LeadershipIQ. The following list highlights key reasons why defining and embracing workplace behaviors/core values is critical for successful performance management.
- Common language- Clearly defined behaviors that are embedded into the organization’s culture provide a standard set of expectations for all employees. These words and phrases produce a shared language specific to your workplace, thereby improving team morale and solidarity.
- Accountability- When behavioral expectations are set for everyone, it ensures that all employees are held accountable for their actions, producing an environment of integrity.
- Foundation for recognition- Common core values provide a basis for giving and receiving recognition. Recognition that is based on observable actions is more powerful than a general and subjective ‘attaboy’ or ‘attagirl’.
- Bolsters healthy culture- Emphasizing positive behaviors not only drives healthy culture- it also ensures that bad behaviors are more noticeable. A clear description of actions that align with company core values simultaneously shows employees what behaviors do not promote the values that matter.
- Engages employees- A predetermined set of behaviors is evidence to employees that they are part of a team that does more than increase the bottom line. A shared set of values gives purpose and greater meaning to the work they do every day, therefore increasing engagement and improving team relationships.
How To Integrate Core Values In The Workplace
Organizations present their company core values on marketing collateral and in the office lobby. Howver, if you were to ask a team member what those core values are, they would either fumble through the answer or not have a clue of what that core value represents. Guaranteeing that these core values and their associated behaviors stick can be a challenge, but below we share how to embed core values into the workplace:
1. Clearly Define Your Core Values
Core values without a definition are empty words. The definition is what produces workplace behaviors and sets the example. And, provide an example of the behavior that represents or demonstrates this core value.
2. Lead By Example
True culture change must be embraced by the top. That means that leaders must show, in their words and their actions, that workplace behaviors are critical to business success and that all team members are held to the same standard.
3. Tie Workplace Behaviors To Recognition
The simplest and most practical way for core values to stick is to tie them to the recognition program. Allowing employees to give and receive peer recognition based on a set of observable behaviors fits naturally into the daily workflow and means recognition is not forced.
4. Measure Core Value & Workplace Behavior Alignment
Though a bit more challenging, measuring workplace behaviors will ensure they are embedded in the organization’s culture. WorkDove’s Performance-Values Matrix measures performance and core values separately but equally. While a high core values score is mutually exclusive from a high-performance score, measuring both ensures that the employee is being assessed holistically. If an individual is exceeding expectations in performance but not meeting expectations of workplace behaviors, they should be rewarded for performance and coached for behaviors. Rewarding the right efforts is just as critical as addressing the wrong behaviors & efforts.
Examples of Workplace Behaviors
If your organization is building out core values for the first time or refreshing ones you already have, it can be helpful to see a list of examples before choosing the values that feel right. The following list details 25 workplace behavior examples and their definitions.
We deliver on our action plans and are focused on our goals (even when we struggle to achieve desired business results).
We lead change by example. We accept change as positive and adapt plans as necessary.
We are open with others about our opinions and insights because our thoughts count! We build trust among our team so they feel comfortable sharing their ideas. We communicate with respect and appreciation so others may accept constructive feedback to help create a positive work environment.
Coaching and Mentoring
We sense the potential and developmental needs in others. We foster long-term learning and development by providing meaningful and knowledgeable support and do so not always with advice, but by actively listening, asking questions, and providing necessary feedback.
We seek input and ideas from others. We can effectively work with different personalities and pursue common goals. Respects other opinions.
We convey information and ideas through a variety of media to individuals or groups in a manner that engages the audience and helps them understand and retain the message.
We readily identify potential conflict, bring disagreements into the open, and effectively diffuse tense situations. We encourage debate and open discussion while understanding the differing perspectives to find a common, ideal outcome.
Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.
We demonstrate curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. We take initiative in acquiring and mastering the skills and knowledge requirements of a position. We keep abreast of current or new information through reading and other learning methods. We are actively interested in new technologies, processes and methods. We welcome and seek assignments requiring new skills and knowledge. We expend considerable effort and/or time on learning. We genuinely enjoy learning. We identify opportunities to gain knowledge.
We delegate decision-making authority and/or task responsibility to others to maximize the organization’s and individual’s effectiveness.
Grit is passion and perseverance over the long haul. We are determined to overcome challenges. We push hard, even when it is difficult.
We have a passion for what we do. We give it everything we have, all the time. We bring our best because we love what we do, and the people we serve.
Inclusivity is demonstrating genuine concern for others. We respect and value people regardless of their background. We want to ensure people experience positive emotions. We expend considerable effort to impact the needs, concerns, and feelings of others. We advocate for the interests, needs, and wants of others. Inclusivity is demonstrating sensitivity and understanding. We take personal and/or professional risks for the sake of others. We recognize and enjoy the good qualities of others. We provide support, appreciation, and recognition. We display kindness and concern for others.
To influence is to utilize the knowledge of others’ needs, wants, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior to promote a concept, product, or service. It is building trust and credibility before doing so. It is using logic and reason to develop rational arguments that challenge current assumptions. It is identifying the barriers that prevent people from seeing the benefits and bringing others to their way of thinking without force or coercion.
We respond appropriately to improve outcomes, processes, or measurements. We assume responsibility and leadership when asked. We accomplish goals independently with little need for supervision. We take ownership and accountability for our own performance. We seek out and/or accept additional responsibilities in the context of the job.
Integrity is demonstrating moral judgment and character, honesty, and leadership values. Individuals who show integrity in the workplace not only understand right from wrong but they practice it in all they do. Integrity is the foundation for successful workplace relationships because you can trust the actions taken by others.
We inspire confidence in others’ ability to grow professionally. We identify and facilitate developmental opportunities. We encourage initiative and improvement. We support, coach, and mentor the development of others. We view mistakes as opportunities for learning. We empower others by helping them find roles that leverage their strengths. We help to grow company culture.
We take action to not only complete tasks but also look for ways to make things better (i.e., improve processes, help team members, and represent the organization well internally and externally). We are proud of our role and want to be the best we can be.
Problem-solving is considering multiple sides of an issue and weighing the consequences before making a final decision. It is making informed decisions based on available information. It is being open to new ideas and processes and adjusting the approach to achieve results.
Every team member is expected to demonstrate professionalism on and off the job. This is displayed through verbal and non-verbal communication, dress, and choices made. Team members always represent the company and its reputation.
We recognize the relative importance of certain tasks and responsibilities and can prioritize to ensure that deadlines are met. We deliver on the commitments made to others. We are relied upon by others as a source of valid information.
Resilience is persevering and remaining diligent despite setbacks, barriers, or limited resources. It is being willing and able to overcome obstacles to achieve desired results. It is seeing setbacks as temporary rather than permanent.
We can recognize and evaluate our emotions “in the moment”. We understand the links between our feelings, what we think, do, and say, and use this awareness to better manage our responses and behaviors when communicating with others.
We demonstrate an ability to connect the dots and see the big picture. We utilize foresight, intuition, and factual events to draw inferences. We recognize, support, and/or champion cutting-edge ideas. We anticipate future trends or events. We envision possibilities others may not. We imagine and/or predict changes in current reality based on deductive and conceptual reasoning. We create an environment where forward-thinking is the norm, not the exception. We mentally live in the future and do not allow current technology to cloud our vision.
Every team member is expected to fulfill his or her commitments to the team. In some cases, this may mean working longer than expected on a particular task.
Core values are a cornerstone of the WorkDove platform. If you are ready to instill positive workplace behaviors and promote a strong culture built upon values that matter to. your organization, connect with WorkDove today!