Organizational values are the lifeline of a company as it acts as a groundwork that determines the heart of the organizational culture. It is an apt reflection of its vision and mission and assists the organization in defining what is good and what is bad for it.
Organizational values refer to the core ethics that the organization will abide by in almost every circumstance. Articulated organizational values inspire the employees to give their best and set exemplary standards for appropriate aspirations and behaviour in the workplace.
What are organizational values?
An organization value is what a company stands for, its behaviour and the types of decisions it makes. It is also referred to as the roadmap that provides clear direction of the way the things should be. An organization interprets and implements its decisions based on these mental maps.
When behaviour conflicts with organizational values, it can cause stress and anxiety because we struggle to reconcile the difference. This is why companies insist on creating and defining their organizational values at the onset so that it can lead to the smooth running of its business activities.
All the employees must be aware of the organizational values and try to embrace and practice them wholeheartedly. The breakdown can interfere with its determination to reach strategic goals. The organizational values allow us to understand what is acceptable as well as unacceptable to our community, customers and the people working in the organization.
It nudges every employee in the right direction by making it clear about how to behave, treat, respond and interact with others and to changes in the work environment. Remember, it is organizational values that give a sense of clarity to the workforce and contributes to a strong employee commitment in the organization.
4 Ways to bring organizational values to life
It is essential to devise ways to bring organizational values to life so that they do not get lost in the everyday work life. Some steps in this endeavour are as follows-
1. Put the organizational values at the forefront
When a business is running at the desired pace, and every employee is focused on the job in hand, it becomes challenging to keep track of organizational values. Do not lose sight because these are moral codes that should be held at the forefront to act as reminders. The organizational values must provide a guiding hand in all aspects of the business from processes to decision-making.
Make them prominent and visible by writing them on the shared wall where everyone can easily see and read them. Write them on the company website, in the employee handbook, in conference rooms, typical cafeteria etc. so that it can serve as daily reminders
2. Hire based on values
Build a workforce that will live by the moral code that has been created based on organizational values. Integrate the organizational values in your hiring process so that you can lay a groundwork for the desired behaviour in the employees of your organization
3. Work by your values
Everyone is aware of the organizational values, but you must implement them regularly. For example, if it has been mentioned that employees should work certain hours then try to fit it in your company culture and case of emergencies when they are working more provide additional benefits against it
4. Reward values
Promote and reward the employees who have been diligent in their efforts to adopt organizational values as their core values. This will encourage others to follow suit
Advantages of organizational values
Ways to bring organizational values to life
The advantages of organizational values are as follows-
- Organizational values encourage healthy growth and overall development in an organization.
- Organizational goals are created after understanding its organizational values; hence it is an essential factor that determines future goals, objectives, culture, processes etc. It sets the tone for the entire organization and explains how to conduct all its business activities at every stage
- Organizational values nudge the employees towards common goals and objectives
- Organizational values reduce the risk of inappropriate behaviour in the company
- Organizational values boost integrity and accountability factors amongst internal employees and external stakeholders
- Organizational values help the employees to establish priorities in their work-life
- When you have solid values as your groundwork, then the employees will feel proud to be associated with the company, and this will lead to a committed workforce
- Organizational values promote motivation amongst the employees of an organization
- The role, function and nature of organizational values lay the foundation for a corporate brand and its image in the market. Companies with solid values are perceived as ethical and responsible ones. The masses accept them as one of their own compared to the organization that does not have a clear set of values attached to it.
- Ethical organizational values help a company to drive good sales figures and increase its profit margin.
- Organizational values create a strong brand identity that results in competitive advantage in the market
- Organizational values are beneficial in value-creating processes as it boosts consistency and credibility
- Organizational values protect and enhance the image and reputation of the company in the market
- Organizational values improve the ethical character of the organization with time
- Organizational values strengthen the employment value proposition
Disadvantages of organizational values
The disadvantages of organizational values are as follows-
- If there is a difference between personal and organizational values, it can cause a contradiction in the mindset of the employees and lead to disappointment
- Individuals might suffer from an imbalanced lifestyle if their values are not in perfect alignment with the organizational values
- When individual and organizational values show differences, it can hamper the growth and development process of the organization
How to build organizational values?
The following steps can easily help in identifying and building strong organizational values
1. Assess your current organizational culture
It is an organizational value that lays the base for organizational culture. This is why it is essential to make a viable assessment of the current organizational culture if you are looking for ways to identify and build organizational values. What your organization stands for and what impression does it present to the outside world and to its employees should be concentrated.
The current brand impression, both internally and externally, is an essential determinant in understanding and assessing the organization culture as well as values of the company. Talk to employees, clients, vendors and take help of online surveys, feedback and focus group on understanding the organizational identity the brand can project and how effective has it been in putting its organizational values in action.
2. Review the strategic plan
The strategic business plan is tied directly with the organizational culture and thus also with its organizational values. Think about the future of your company so that you can understand where it is heading in terms of organizational values.
Review your strategic business plan with your team and create a plan of growth, development and expansion if you are looking for ways to identify and build organizational values
3. Look at the organizational culture to build organizational values
You have reviewed your strategic business plan and looked at the current as well as future organizational culture and now is the time to look at, understand and identify the related organizational values in this context.
Identify the skills, know-how, education and personalities you prefer in your employees if you are looking for ways to identify and build the organizational values in your company
4. Look and decide to make changes if necessary
You might have started your business entity with some positive thoughts and values in mind and created your organizational culture, policies and processes as per the need of the hour. Change is imminent, and with time it becomes necessary to look back and understand whether the values of that time are in sync with the behaviour and actions of today.
Is the company still benefitting from your organizational values, or do you need to adapt and make necessary changes to move with modern times? Decide whether your organizational values need to be revised or shifted if you are looking for ways to identify and build them once again.
5. Define the meaning of the chosen values
Pick the values that you think are most important and relevant to your organization and now define their purpose so that everyone can understand why you have picked them above the rest. Make it clear what specific processes ad behaviour the company will encourage to honour these organizational values and make sure that they work for the company.
It is imperative to have a clear understanding of each value before putting them into action to increase its worth
6. Integrate organizational values into organizational processes
This is the time to integrate your newly defined organizational values into organizational processes to make them more useful. Once it has been integrated into the operational areas, it will lay a solid foundation for future operations and help in several areas like hiring and recruiting, employee On-boarding.
Also, align values with compensation and benefit plans through performance reviews if you are looking for ways to identify and build organizational values in your company.