If company values are more than slogans on the wall, they must appear in everyday work. There are several key ways we help our clients ensure their processes don’t get off track—or worse, end up driving culture in a negative direction.

Every company aspires to embody words like Innovation, Intensity, Boldness, Trust, Creativity, Empathy, etc. But how can you tell what a company actually does embody? Look no further than their Standard Operating Procedures, user experiences, and access control measures.

Hire whom you trust, and trust whom you hire

Let’s look at access control. If a company has a simple access control policy, granting wide access to employees, it means they trust their employees a lot. If a company spends a significant amount of time on complex access control for employees, it means they trust their employees less.

We encourage employers to clearly define job descriptions, then give employees a high degree of ownership in that domain.

Employees drive the process, the process can’t drive employees

Like it or not, your employees drive every process in your company. This may be controversial, but when your employees hit an outlier, they are going to override the process. The question is whether or not you can still track what happens next.

We’re in favor of giving employees the ability to override the process as needed to handle outliers in a transparent way. Employees can push a task back if it doesn’t meet quality standards. Anyone can close duplicate tasks without permission. Management can go back and see what happened later. This simultaneously reduces management busywork and provides a framework for building trust in an accountable environment.

User experiences drive brands, brands don’t drive user experiences

Users include customers and employees. If you user experiences include a lot of repetitive busywork, it will be hard to convince users your company is innovative. Pages that take forever to load don’t breed a culture of intensity. If users are presented with cold and impersonal corporatese on a web page or even in an email notification, your company won’t seem empathetic. Here’s a simple example: Apple is known for its simple user experiences, but Apple’s user experiences rarely feature the Apple logo.

It’s easy to see how inconsistencies between brand values and processes can damage a brand’s reputation. We help our clients uncover such inconsistencies. More importantly, we help clients establish processes and policies that embody their values.

It can be hard for management to understand complex processes or systems without getting stuck in the weeds. We help management understand, audit, and establish processes, and build wholistic platforms for success. So if you suspect your access policy, processes, or user experience don’t have good values, let us know. We’d be more than happy to jump in alongside you and help you move the needle in a positive direction.