Research by the Institute of Leadership and Management suggests that out of a list of top ten values identified by employees - only 3 were also values used by the organisation.
Employees’ personal values tended to focus on “making a difference”, “doing the right thing” and “being honest” whereas organisational values often veered to “outcome” orientated values such as “being accountable”.
The misalignment is something organisations should be concerned about - particularly in terms of attracting talent into the organisation. New generations coming into the workforce are far more likely to look for a culture that matches their own values and make this a key part of their decision-making.
And a misalignment for current staff will create cynicism - a sense that the values hold no real meaning for them. So rather than creating engagement and building trust, the values are likely to feel empty and where they are built into processes such as appraisals and reviews, staff are likely to just “go through the motions”.
So, how do organisations prevent this mismatch?
There are 3 steps which will make the world of difference
You can do the same to review a set of Values and to check whether any need to change with our evolving workplaces.
This should be done at every level - starting with the senior leadership team. What does acting with integrity look like for them for example?
Articulating these specific examples will help to bring the values to life and give them meaning.
There is then far more chance that values will help create the workplace you want and not remain stuck as an empty set of words on the website!
The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...