Many people think of organizational values as some sort of lip-service proclamation that emerged from the latest executive management retreat. Or perhaps they think spending time talking about values is an unproductive use of time. But what many people assume are “values” really aren’t. They’re much more than that. Values are the unconscious force behind personal action. In a world that’s in a constant state of flux, values are what remain steadfast and true. And smart organizations know that they are the vital link to culture, commitment—and a competitive advantage.
Companies that connect values to strategy have a solid foundation for decision making, employee engagement, and team performance. On a personal level, people who are aware of their values are stronger employees and leaders because they have a natural resilience to change and the know-how to succeed in challenging situations and environments.
In Supercorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good, author Rosabeth Kanter examines companies such as Proctor & Gamble and IBM. These businesses made it a strategic initiative to connect personal and organizational values in an effort to form strong internal cultures and external brand differentiation. By embedding values into their operations, they’ve successfully stimulated opportunities for growth, motivated their people, and supercharged their organizations with energy and commitment.
As a trainer, investing time and effort in value discovery and clarity during HR training provides individuals, teams, and organizations with a clear sense of purpose and a guiding force through turbulent times. It promotes a positive culture that helps companies better adapt to change. Values help standardize operations, reduce complexity and give people a basis for collaboration—a common vocabulary, a common language, and a common set of principles that drive decision making, performance, and growth.