Posted by: Knightbird | June 18, 2010

Chugachmiut’s Employee Values Statement

In my last post I referred to Chugachmiut’s employee values statement, so I want to elaborate some about what it is. When I arrived at Chugachmiut, we had a mission statement, but it was not a guiding document like it should be. It was not displayed anywhere in the organization’s 8 sites. The only copy was made of copies enlarged on a copier, taped together, and placed in a store bought frame where it remained on the floor of our one Executive Assistant. I immediately had typeset copies printed on large poster sized pages in 2 sizes and framed. A copy is hanging at each worksite, and in the offices of our 6 member executive leadership team. Until the board changes it, this remains our long term guide.

Our employees had no such long term guiding document available to them specifically, so I asked one of my leadership team to form a team to propose an Employee Values Statement. She did. They met a number of times and came up with a draft. I remember reading that draft and feeling my eyes get moist, it was such a powerful document. The team then distributed the draft to all employees asking for comments and recommendations for improvement. When the final document was completed, it was again distributed for ratification by all employees, which it was. We have since used the Values Statement as a hurdle for any new applicants for Chugachmiut jobs. The applicant must read and agree to be bound by the Statement. We have not had any applicant refuse, to my knowledge. Our offer letters reference the Statement, and if the offer is accepted, the new employee is required to read the Statement at orientation, and sign a statement that they agree to be bound by it. Here is a link to the values statement on the Chugachmiut website: Click on the “employee values” located on the left side of the page.

Having clear boundaries in an organization is a huge benefit. If an employee starts acting out in ways that are contrary to the values statement, they can be reminded of their commitment and obligation.

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