Making values “more real”

The situation

The QCA was suffering from high turnover and wanted to develop a more united culture – the QCA’s work is specialist and for some time, the organisation had been working in silos with little to “glue” the organisation together.

The HR Director had begun some work on the values for the organisation, and identified a number of values, but with competing priorities and a project group made up primarily of junior staff, the project had made little progress and enthusiasm had flagged. fe3 was engaged to provide impetus and direction as well as expertise to the project.

The approach

The work was two fold:

  • To provide more concrete links between the values work, business strategy and external reputation
  • To get input from QCA staff to both process and values, which were so far largely untested

To make the values less “fluffy” – particularly for a highly educated and slightly cynical employee audience – the set of existing values was mapped against the Key Result Areas of the organisation to anchor the values in the everyday work of the organisation. At the same time, interviews with external stakeholders ensured that the values being explored would a) add benefit to external relationship and b) not work AGAINST external relationships.

After this, another set of values with descriptors was produced for consultation with the workforce.  This consultation was done through workshops run by a members of the project team, designed and piloted by fe3.  This ensured that project members were involved in ways other than just meetings. fe3 provided a facilitator briefing and a day’s training on the process for those involved, ran one session and observed a couple of others.

The notes from these sessions, and the results of the external interviews were then analysed and a project team workshop developed to decide next steps.

The outcome

  • A re-energised project team who continued to take the work forward
  • A set of values owned by employees as they had inputted
  • These values (and their descriptors) were taken to the Board and agreed then communicated to the organisation
  • The values have been used to guide the development of new policies and processes developed by HR, including the management development programme, reward and remuneration policy, redundancy process for reorganisation, induction, and recent policies established for the organisation’s pending relocation.

Project Details

Client:The Qualifications and Curriculum Agency
Skills:facilitation, training