I don’t want to revisit too many people’s high school experiences of not being popular, but there is a thought in organisations of whether the employees actually care. When a CEO talks about the values of their company they often will say in interview that Company X really does care and will be passionate about achieving our goals for our customers, or something along the lines of that. But I ask, how do you know? If anything I want to invite a bit of insecurity into the minds of the leaders of organisations.
First thing to do is to check whether the values are something you stand for, or have they just been picked out of a hat for convenience? This can avoid over general values that don’t distinguish themselves from any other company; an example could be something related to customer satisfaction which is really something every company should have as a value and there needs to be more elaboration about how Company X actually produces this value. It’s not an easy task to establish these values and make sure they are a representation of what your company believes in but if the effort isn’t put in anything done further would be building on sand.
The issue I really want to get to though is do the employees care? While their views and opinions may be reviewed in regards for the values it is really the higher ups that establish what values the organisation believes in. It’s been reported that up to 86% of employees aren’t happy in the work they do and this is put down to the fact they aren’t aligning to the values of the company. No matter what an individual’s skill or job motivation there is a role that is perfect for them, the trick is identifying it and optimising it, just because a person’s parent was a lawyer and they themselves have a law degree doesn’t mean they’re destined for the legal profession. If the individual has been passionate about the environment all their life they may take that knowledge and use it in policy research and campaigning, and I would guarantee every day’s work in that role would be such a higher quality than any day’s work they did for a law firm.
There are two ways to achieve a workforce with the shared values of the organisation. The first way is to figure it out is by identifying it at the source, through the recruitment and selection that the company has in place. This can be done through a range of measures such as personality assessments and situational judgement tests an if you’re being fancy you can also benchmark it to current employees for comparison. The alternative way, and by far harder, is to establish how aligned and motivated towards a company’s current employees are. This can be difficult because it can uncover some uncomfortable truths but in order to optimise the work that’s being done everyone needs to be aboard, however this process can benefit the individual’s development to identify where they will thrive.
But why should you care? Well you don’t have to but it’ll be an uphill battle to get your company running the way you’d like. If 86% of your workforce isn’t on the same lines as the leadership then everything has to be micromanaged and no trust can be given to the work force. This isn’t anybody’s fault, if you don’t believe in the values you can’t be expected to suddenly drum up some motivation, but if you can see this and don’t do anything about it then it becomes an issue. The world of business is a tricky one that comes with so many obstacles but your own team shouldn’t be one of them.
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