In a recent article published by the BBC, author Bryan Lufkin talks about the ripple …
Experts link a positive work culture with increased productivity, higher profit margins, and staff satisfaction …
Value of values
Experts link a positive work culture with increased productivity, higher profit margins, and staff satisfaction (Heinz, 2019). At the centre of an organisation’s culture is its values.
The best cultures are the ones where the values fit the organisation’s ultimate vision. I repeat the culture should align with achieving the vision and goals of the company. For the best results, values should be memorialised on paper. But this process shouldn’t be done just to tick boxes; there must be true alignment within the organisation. Once the company values have been defined, every action, strategy, decision, and communication should support these organisational beliefs. This includes all HR mechanisms from recruitment, hiring processes to performance and review systems.
WHAT ARE VALUES?
Beliefs, philosophies, and principles that drive your business. They are the deep-seated and pervasive standards that influence almost every aspect of the organisation, from responses to others, commitments and morals. Values are akin to the organisation’s DNA and create a belief system that guides their decision-making process.
Organisational culture comes about in one of two ways. First, it can be decisively defined, nurtured, and protected from the organisation’s inception, or it comes about haphazardly as a collective sum of the team’s beliefs, experiences, and behaviours. Either way, it’s likely, you will already have an organisational culture, whether you realise it or not.
WHY ARE VALUES IMPORTANT?
Values are the bedrock of an organisation’s culture as they provide employees with a sense of common direction and guidelines for day-to-day behaviour (Scott et al., 1993). Therefore, it is important to have values to support your organisation’s vision. Without these values, it is harder to define the purpose of an organisation and create a sense of identity for your workplace.
Below we have included some explanations of why having your values defined can benefit your organisation:
- Defining your values can be a competitive advantage as it helps to differentiate your organisation from the competition and can increase profit margins.
Establishing your values can help a client to understand the purpose of your organisation. It gives an identity to your brand and enables your employees to educate clients on what the business stands for.
Often, organisations are more successful in attracting leads to convert when their comms include messages that resonate with their values. So, if you want to build a relationship with clients, then using shared values is a way to earn loyalty or strengthen your relationship with clients.
- Defining an organisation’s values can generate team cohesion and increase productivity levels.
Defining values can improve communication within an organisation and provide a moral direction. As comms and business strategies become centred around these values, their messages usually become increasingly consistent and concise. When employees are repeatedly exposed to these messages, they begin to understand what is expected of them. As a result, it generally becomes easier for them to make the right decisions or adopt the preferred behaviour of the organisation.
- Defining an organisation’s values can help HR to recruit the right candidates and improve staff satisfaction.
“Employee turnover is costly. Hiring based on shared values, and cultural beliefs leads to winning results” (Forbes, 2017).
Values directly impact motivation and engagement. When organisations are clear and concise about their values, mission and vision, they are better equipped to help their employees work towards these goals. Similarly, engaged employees are the ones that share your company values and believe in them, making it super important to define and communicate them sufficiently.
Values play a critical role in talent attraction, with 46% of job seekers citing an organisation’s culture as the decisive factor when choosing whether to apply for a position or not (Heinz, 2019). As well as attracting talent, values can help you with staff retention. Employees who don’t like a company’s culture often quit their jobs (Smarp, 2020). Therefore, it is essential to define the values of an organisation to find a candidate that embodies these and will likely enjoy this working environment.
SOME STATS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF DEFINING VALUES AND A POSITIVE WORK CULTURE
Below we have included some crucial findings that we believe might interest you and hopefully encourage you to invest some time into your values.
- More than 50% of CEOs and CFOs say corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value and growth rates (Forbes)
- In an organisation with positive company culture, job turnover operates at 13.9%, compared to low company cultures, which operate at 48.4% (Glassdoor, 2015).
- 88% of employees believe strong company culture is key to business success (Bultin)
- 47% of active job seekers cite company culture as their driving reason for looking for work (Pivotal Advisors)
- 76% of employees believe that well-defined business goals help cultivate a positive work culture (Bultin)
- 15% of job seekers turned down a job offer because of the company’s culture (Jobvite)
- Companies with strong cultures saw a 4x increase in revenue growth (Forbes, 2011)
SO HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR VALUES?
As previously stated, values come about in one of two ways. First, they can be defined from inception, or secondly, and more commonly, are taken from a collection of team beliefs, experiences, and behaviours. Either way, it’s likely, you will already have these values, whether you realise it or not. So, to help you unpack or clarify what you may already have within your organisation, below, we have included some questions that can be worked through in your own time. These questions are specially formulated to help you and your team evaluate and create alignment within your organisation.
- What do we stand for?
- What behaviours would mirror these values?
- How do we treat our employees?
- How do we treat our customers?
- What do we mean by ethical behaviour?
- What are the core values that are more important to us than profits?
- How do we want to treat each other at work?
- What do we offer our employees for their work effort?
- How do we want to be seen by the community?
- What attitudes and behaviour in employees do we want to reward?
Now you have been through these questions; it is time to think about how these answers could feed into the overarching values for the organisation. Focusing on fewer values is more effective, so you shouldn’t exceed seven (Kirkpatrick S. A, 2016). Below we have incorporated some top tips to simplify the process and help you to instil the values you have created.
- Stand out. If your values are the same as every other organisation, then your organisation is at risk of appearing inauthentic to both your team, potential hires and clients.
- Avoid operating in a vacuum. Incorporate staff at all levels of your organisation to co-create your values.
- Follow through planning with action. Allocate part of your budget to cultural initiatives and determine how resources will be used to deliver staff feedback.
- Leadership must lead by example. Align your leadership with your values and hold them accountable to follow them.
WHAT DO VALUES LOOK LIKE TO US?
Values provide the instruction leaflet on working together, how to treat others, and what is most important to an organisation. In some organisations, they are understood but seldom discussed. Bringing them into the light enhances agreement and connection (Scott et al., 1993).
That is why at PANDEK Group Ltd, we established our values very early on in our organisation and placed the people at the centre of everything that we do at PANDEK. Thus, we created an acronym that we felt reflected every aspect of our work and came up with the following:
P = Purpose
E = Empower
O = Open
P = Passion
L = Listen
E = Engage
At PANDEK Group, we are a purpose-led company that cares about the well-being of our clients, staff, communities and stakeholders. We celebrate diversity as it is central to a successful workplace, and we promote an inclusive culture in all our activities. To ensure that our work gives back to the community, we offer support to individuals and organisations as they build upon their skills and experience in workshops or consultations.
We want to empower individuals with our work, providing them with the tools to unlock new skills and thinking patterns or utilise the ones they may already have. Development is important to us, and we want to ensure that individuals can learn through our workshops and facilitated discussions. Our work is about providing a voice to everyone in the room, whether they choose to speak or not.
Fundamentally, people are at the core of our business. With that, healthy relationships are vital. We strive to be open and transparent in all our dealings. We take ownership, standing by our commitments, treating everyone equitably, and communicating openly and honestly. In return, there is a mutual bond of trust in our staff and services, maintained through the course of our relationship.
Passion is essential to everything that we achieve at PANDEK Group. It means caring for and taking pride in our work, believing in our staff and clientele, and having dedication in what and how we carry out our work. We pride ourselves in the level of energy and enthusiasm that we bring to our conversations and sessions.
At PANDEK Group, we harness the power of a listening culture, taking feedback from those around us to shape how we plan, deliver and improve our services. We prioritise communication and use it to inform our day-to-day practices, develop the quality and sustainability of our work, enhancing our ability to respond to the client’s needs. Ultimately, our facilitation, coaching and training services aim to help our clients gain clarity in their work or personal lives, sometimes both.
Engagement is central to our relationship with staff, clients and community. We want to be judged on our ability to produce results to the highest standard. It is important for us to approach challenges in a fun and creative way, making our work that much more enjoyable. Therefore, every investment or decision made has our staff and clients in mind. We invest in community and company events that we feel will help our employees and their families feel a connection to PANDEK beyond business as usual.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now understand what values are, how to define them, why they are so important, how you can make a start at defining values within your own organisation, and what these values can look like in a real business. However, if you are currently looking at how to restructure your company culture or create one and want further help with the process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or check out our website https://pandek.org/ and book a free consultation with us. Alternatively, you can call us on 07502265930. We are a group of experts with over 20 years of experience, trained to help you unleash the power of the values, vision and mission statements.
FOR INQUIRIES, PLEASE EMAIL US AT [email protected] OR
BOOK A FREE 30-MINUTE CONSULTATION AT HTTPS://PANDEK.ORG/.
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