Steph Mann, Co-Founder of At Your Core

How to reinforce values on remote teams

In this episode of Lead Time Chats, Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range, chats with Steph Mann, Co-Founder of At Your Core, about reinforcing team values in remote and hybrid teams.

Steph and Jean discuss:

  • The risk of not taking the time to codify values as your company grows
  • Choosing values that are authentic and not overly aspirational
  • How to reinforce values (beyond beautiful posters and stickers) with rituals, regular check-ins, and external acknowledgment
  • The shadow side of values and how values can be misconstrued

Additional Resources
If your team is ready to codify your values and truly live them as you scale, please contact At Your Core.

At Your Core is a consultancy that helps companies define their core values, activate values across the employee experience, and build leadership capabilities to support positive cultures and business results.

Takeaways from Steph

Reinforcement happens at all levels

“We've gotten really creative with how we engage teams and how we can create small team discussions with breakout rooms. So I think there's a lot of different ways that you can create really rich dialogue. It's about prioritizing that time, saying this is important and therefore we are going to block time on everyone's calendar, and this is one of the most important initiatives that we could do right now is all align on this and go deep and make sure that everyone really does have a shared understanding of what the value is, the intended meaning, what success looks like, like what does it look like if I live this value or my coworker does, and then how can we expect to see it across the employee experience. The onus then is also on every single employee. It's not just, okay, now the people team takes over and they were the ones that activate the values. Right? It's about how do managers reinforce and model the values? How do IC's play a role in that? So really making sure from hiring through goals and reviews to rituals, all the way through off-boarding that the values are reinforced.”

Weave your core values into the entire employee experience

“You should make sure that expectations are set from the start, like how you're coached and developed. The value should be reinforced. If you literally think about every aspect of the employee experience, your value should play a role. And by weaving them through and having that consistent experience, that's how they become lived, and that's how they have a great impact on the company. Go about defining and then actually activate.”

Be clear about what your values do and don’t mean

“You have to be really clear about what your value means and what it doesn't and we actually suggest not just acknowledging that there can be shadow sides, but putting specific language behind them, 'cause then you give all employees that common language to call it out when they see it. A lot of times, those shadow side behaviors are just percolating throughout and people see it and people know it, but it just makes them uncomfortable versus educating an entire organization. This is what we mean by this value. This is what we don't mean. Right? And now when you see that, you know what to say, so let's just all acknowledge that this happens, but we're going to call it out as that's not the intended meaning. And it can be a hard exercise, but a really productive one.”

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About Lead Time Chats

Listen in on unscripted conversations between Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range and other leaders in tech to help you make remote teamwork a little bit less challenging.

Lead Time Chats is brought to you by Range. Range helps remote teams work better together — with asynchronous check-ins, integrated team-building, fewer and more effective meetings, and easy goal-tracking. When you run your team with Range, you’ll always know what’s going on — without having to be in back-to-back meetings.

Checking-in with Range creates more focus time for heads-down work, all while feeling a deeper sense of connection and belonging with your team.

To learn more about Range, you can check it out here.

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Steph Mann on reinforcing values on remote teams
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