Values are important. They help to motivate us, guide our moral compass and shape who we are and what we do. For the majority of us, values make sure we treat others well and strive to better ourselves – essentially they ensure we are productive, positive members of society.
It is therefore unsurprising that companies who lack values or fail to truly embrace their own mission statements are struggling with staff retention, employee motivation and overall business output. After all, our workforce is not the same, easily managed and simply structured beast that it was when our parents were climbing the career ladder. With increasing technological advances and the rise of flexible and remote working most managers have to dig a lot deeper to make sure their staff are engaged and productive.
In today’s world it is significantly harder to control employees meaning a greater need for a workforce with ‘strong, shared values’. Costas Markides, professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the London Business School, once said ‘you must have a purpose that galvanises people, your people inside and outside the organisation.’
Essentially, we need to feel part of something good that mirrors our own core values, something that will inspire us to put in that all important and much talked about ‘100%’ without the constant presence of a manager overseeing everything we do. It is a proven fact that employees are more likely to perform well if given autonomy – micromanagement has rarely produced the same results as a management that promotes trust. We also need to be shown appreciation for the work that we do. It’s no coincidence that some of the best paid and prevalent jobs within the HR market are currently focused on reward.
Too many organisations think it’s enough to print a set of values on a card or pin them on a staff board and then carry on in the same way as before. You wouldn’t fail to thank your partner if they did something at home which really made a difference so why would you ignore the hard work of an employee if they pulled out all the stops to make an impact on your organisation?
Values may originate at home but they are the lifeblood of a successful business and the future of our economic success. We need to make sure they are given the attention and focus they deserve within our working culture.
Speaking of values, here are the 5 that Team Heads live by: