On Friday, April 30, we hosted the Catapult Institute Workshop: Nurturing Values Throughout Your Organization. Presented by Tomás Alvarez and Don Crocker, this workshop offered frameworks, processes and tactics for nonprofits to build alignment around their values and operationalize those values across their organizations to achieve greater impact.

Our presenters are no strangers to our Grunin Capacity series! Tomás is an award-winning social entrepreneur and nonprofit executive with 15+ years of experience leading social impact initiatives and dynamic teams. He currently serves as Managing Partner and Strategy Lead at Idea2Form. You can read more about Tomás’ impressive background here. Don Crocker is a nationally recognized leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. He currently serves as a Senior Fellow for the Support Center and is a Senior Fellow for Strategic Initiatives at Services for the Underserved in New York. Click to learn more about Don.

Core Values

What are core values and why do we need them? Most organizations can recite their mission and vision on cue, but how many know each of their values? And how many have the values listed on their websites? Core values are the beliefs, philosophies, and principles that drive your organization. They direct behavior, establish norms and provide a sense of shared commitment and purpose in the workplace.

Culture and values of an organization are key to ensuring employee satisfaction. According to an iHire survey, over 75 percent of employees consider it “very important” to work for a company with defined core values. And a recent LinkedIn survey that suggests 26 percent of employees would forego a fancy title and 65 percent would accept lower pay before dealing with a poor workplace environment.

There are four key stages to culture transformation through nurturing values. First, an organization must define and discuss their values. This means examining not only what your organization stands for, but what it does NOT stand for. Next is aligning your workforce with these values. Are your values assessed during recruiting not only employees but also board members? Are they taught during orientation? The third stage is around driving/adopting your values. Does your organization provide training of your values? Does it invest in those values? Are they assessed in annual employee reviews? And finally, are the values sustainable? Are they reinforced by your organization? Do your partners reinforce them?

We looked at sample value statements together and talked about how we were excelling on making our own values work and where we might need to enhance nurturing our values. Value statements can be simple, and yet very powerful. One example comes from Lunch Break, who freely provides food, clothing, life skills and fellowship to those in need in Monmouth County and beyond. Their value statement is, “We Serve Everyone With Dignity and Compassion.” Lunch Break leadership and staff live by these seven words each day and it means everything to the people they serve.

If you weren’t able to attend the Nurturing Values Throughout Your Organization Virtual Worship, not to worry! You can access the presentation here and learn more about values and their function in an organization.