Do you have a Statement of Values (SOV), or some other similar document that describes all of the qualities that you want each of your staff to possess?  Does it describe how you want them to communicate with each other and with the world?  If not, stop reading this, and create one. You can continue reading this blog in a few weeks, after you’ve done that.

If you’d like to check out my company’s SOV, you can find it HERE.  DO NOT copy ours! We have our special sauce, you have yours.  Use our SOV to inspire your own ideas about who you want to be, and to get the conversation started.  Once you’ve created a draft of your own SOV, you MUST get endorsement from all your stakeholders before you publish it.

Your Statement of Values is what all your staff should be measured by. It should be woven into the fabric of your review process, and whenever one of your staff violates your SOV, you should make it clear to them, in no uncertain terms, that this is a job-threatening problem.  Will each of your staff always be able to execute your SOV perfectly?  Not unless you’ve accidentally hired Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.  People will make mistakes.  You’ll need to point them out, and make sure that they know it’s a serious issue, and that you don’t expect a repeat.

Make your SOV an integral part of your hiring process. Give it to a candidate and have them look at it in the interview.  If they scan it, and say that they think that they can do all that, you can assume that they’re NOT who you’re looking for.  If, on the other hand, they look at it and say that’s what they believe, and they’ve been looking for a company who believes in the same things, then you can continue the interview.

You want to be a binary company, within reason.  If a candidate or existing staff member has 90% of the qualities that you’re looking for, then they are a “0”.  If they have 100% of those qualities (or very close), then they are a “1”.  I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that “.85”s last just a few weeks.  It’s pretty obvious that their ethics and your those of your company are not a good match.  The bad news is that “.95”s can last for many years, wreaking havoc with your higher performing staff.  They are “good” employees, and are a constant source of irritation and anger for your “great” employees.

You should strive to be a great place for your “1”s to work. For most of the rest of the world, you want to be the kind of company for whom they can’t ever work, or if you accidentally hire them, they can only be there for a short period of time.

About the Author
Doug Deane is President of DSD Business Systems, an international provider of on-demand (cloud) and on-premises ERP and CRM software, specializing in wholesale distribution, manufacturing, warehouse management, inventory, business intelligence and eCommerce software.  DSD offers Sage 100 (formerly MAS 90), Sage 300 (formerly Accpac), Sage 500 (formerly MAS 500), NetSuite, Sage FAS, Sage HRMS (formerly Abra), Sage CRM, Sage SalesLogix, Extended Solutions, and Custom Programming.

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