The ‘Scale-Up’ series is collection of articles targeted for start-up’s and scaling companies so they can put in place the appropriate people processes early on in their growth journey. I am writing the articles in a way that you can use them as templates and guide points to practically work through. Feel free to share what you create with me, I’ll be happy to take a look and share feedback. Please do make any suggestions on how I can improve these articles for better utilisation by practitioners.

    • – Puneet Sachdev

Values and How to Workshop Them

Why Values:

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. These guiding principles dictate behaviours and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Values determine who you hire (a critical decision, especially for small organisations!), sets your cultural tone and builds immunity from toxic behaviours And we know that behaviours drive actions and decisions, so you want to make sure they are coming from a core of curated Values. It also provides the context for leadership. It will help performance manage more effectively and provide the necessary behavioural guidance to employees.

Risks of not addressing Values:

Not addressing the articulation of a values framework, can lead to the creation of a ‘unwanted’ culture which impacts morale and as a result the business performance. KPI’s potentially impacted are regrettable attrition, employer brand perception and the ability to attract the right talent in an ‘employee’ driven market.



  • Create a cross functional *Core Team that will participate in this exercise
  • Schedule the Core Values workshops well in advance
  • Core Team to complete independent brainstorming and coming up with 3–5 core values for Sharktower.

*When selecting the core values team, ask:

  • Who understands your culture really well?
  • Who demonstrates what you’d like to see in an “ideal employee?”
  • Who knows the employees really well?

Core Values Workshop 1 — define Core Values

  • Context setting and objectives
  • Core Team to share the Values they have come-up with
  • Core Team evaluates the Values based on a template that will be provided
  • Responses are analysed and shared back
  • Core Team finalises top core organisational values with an operating definition for each

Values Consultation with the Organisation

  • Decide on the communication channels
  • Share the process followed
  • Provide opportunity to employees to provide perspective on identified Core Values
  • Analyse data

Core Values Workshop 2 — define Core Values Do’s and Don’ts

  • Review analysis from the consultation
  • Make any changes to the Core Values as appropriate
  • Brainstorm the practical do’s and don’ts of each value
  • Finalise the do’s and don’ts
  • Communication and implementation action plan

What you should end up with:

  • Core Values, their definitions and the Do’s and Don’ts
  • Action plan to embed the Core Values in your key people processes from ‘hi to goodbye’
Puneet Sachdev

Contributed by Puneet Sachdev. Puneet specialises in designing interventions that solve People and Culture challenges and helps creating engaging and high performing environments. His recent clients have included fast growing tech companies like Nucleus Financial and Craneware in the UK. Prior to the UK, Puneet was management consulting for Accenture in the US. Get in touch with him for a no-obligation consultation about your people and culture aspirations via LinkedIn.