Shared values set what behaviours and ways of working a team may adopt.

In this activity, your team will come up with:

  • a team values statement
  • a list of actions to demonstrate the values statement

Your values statement complements the 7 public sector values in the code of conduct.

    15 mins
    2 or more
    Team culture

What you’ll need


If you’re together physically, you’ll need:

  • a blank wall or board
  • markers
  • post-it notes
  • sticky dots


If your team is working remotely, you’ll need to set up an online tool.

When you choose a tool, think if anyone in your team has accessibility needs and that they’ll be able to easily use it.

Some free tools you can use are:

But this is just a list of examples. There are a lot of tools.

Scheduling the session

Set up your meeting at a time where you’ll get the best results.

This means to think about the diverse needs of each of your team members.

Think of things like this:

  • Do some people work better earlier or later in the day?
  • Does anyone have kids or caring responsibilities that mean they need to start late or leave early?
  • Is there a time to avoid due to other work commitments?

How to run it

Here’s a rough agenda for your workshop.

Acknowledge country (20 seconds)

Always acknowledge the traditional owners before you start.

It shows your respect for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Set the scene (2 minutes)

Give your team some background on why a values statement is important.

A values statement:

  • gives long-term direction, priorities and goals
  • creates a shared sense of purpose and identity
  • shows people what your team or organisation is about

Brainstorm ideas (5 minutes)

Ask each person to write down one value idea per post-it note.

There’s no limit to how many ideas everyone can write down.

Group ideas (5 minutes)

Go around to each person and ask them to start sticking their post-it notes to the shared workspace.

As each person puts their post-it notes on the wall, ask them to group similar values together.

Vote on ideas (5 minutes)

Tell each person they have 3 votes and agree on what visual mark you’ll all use to show their vote.

For example, you may ask everyone to draw a line on a post-it note to visualise 1 vote. Or, you may give them stickers to place on post-it notes.

Ask everyone to vote on what they think is the best value or group of values they see. They can use all 3 of their votes on one post-it note.

When everyone’s voted, see what ideas are the most popular.

If it doesn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable, ask everyone to discuss why they voted a certain way.

Refine into sentences (10 minutes)

As a group, agree on which values are the top voted ideas.

Take the chosen values and add sentences to elaborate on their meaning.

For example:


  • We show consideration and are polite to one another.
  • We celebrate each other’s strengths and differences.
  • We prevent injuries and incidents in the workplace by calling out any risks.


  • We do not make assumptions about people’s skills based on their background.
  • We support and encourage one another’s knowledge, skills and backgrounds.
  • We consider each other’s unique needs in everyday practice.
  • We are transparent in our communications internally and externally.

After the activity

Collect the values and statements and write them up into a single page values statement.