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A new era of values: Why organisational values are the new differentiator

We live in a modern world where values are like a compass that helps organisations successfully navigate through the tides of the competitive market. In 2022, values and behavioural elements have become a new way to attract, motivate and retain employees and customers with the purpose of creating engagement, trust, loyalty and commitment. A new generation of leaders is emerging in organisations around the world, and they have vastly different ideas of what values mean in practice. Understanding how to exercise influence over organisational values and employee behaviour is critical to surviving in this fast-changing environment.

A process of value management is an opportunity to create an employee value proposition and drive the profitability of a business. This may come as no surprise, as when an organisation stands by a defined set of values, it makes employees feel strongly connected with the business. Organisational value management is a social process that emerges through everyday interactions and formal management systems. The three levels of managing organisational values are as follows:

1. Values with no actionable deliverables

The most inefficient and ineffective kind of value management is described just as values. This occurs when an organisation just names its values without concentrating on how they are communicated to personnel. This can lead to confusion about what an organisation stands for, as well as frustration among employees about what is expected of them. It is important for managers to communicate their values clearly so that all employees know what is expected from them. You can’t expect people to know what you stand for if they don’t know it exists. Organisations need to make sure their employees are aware of the values and how they relate to their jobs and responsibilities.

2. Value Propagation

A more effective kind of value management is described as value propagation. The organisation seeks to communicate specified values to employees in this format. They should be communicated to everyone in the organisation in a clear and consistent way.

This approach is more likely than the previous one at achieving a culture which reflects its core values because it enables people to understand how their work contributes to achieving the desired goals. However, this approach cannot act as the desired level organisations should aim for, as it only conveys, not maps, the values in a more refined form. It still requires further clarification and collaborative initiatives to implement the right kinds of values in the workplace.

It is a process that uses communication channels, both formal and informal, to spread the values at the core of an organisation’s culture. The process has three components:

  • A statement of the organisation’s values.
  • A plan for how these values will be spread throughout the organisation.
  • A means to monitor progress and evaluate results

3. Real and shared values

Real/ Shared values are the most effective and the highest level of value management. These values are not just described and propagated but are also used in real work and decision-making processes. Every aspect of your business should be underpinned by a set of shared values. These will help you decide what to do and when regardless of who is involved or what situation arises.

For example, a company that values innovation may have a culture where people are encouraged to come up with new ideas and suggestions, where the best ones are taken up by management. This will help you create a culture where everyone shares the same vision and understands how they fit into it. Organisations should aim to achieve and adopt the third level of value management as the real/shared organisational values that are shared significantly impact the employees in multiple ways, such as:

  • Increased awareness and belief in the organisational values
  • Consistent and efficient conduct of cohesive teams.
  • Reduced incoherent and unpredictable behaviours
  • Fosters a positive attitude and higher performance

In order to achieve the highest level as discussed above behaviour can be modified using the following steps:

  • Break down organisational values into favourable behaviours
  • Screen this list by identifying behaviours that are observable, measurable and task-related
  • Clearly define the success and levels of success of these behaviours
  • Use ‘Positive reinforcement’ to appreciate the success defined earlier through rewards, recognition and continuous performance feedback

Did you know?
Performance feedback is considered the most effective positive reinforcement used by organisations. Naman’s 360-degree feedback helps in identifying key strengths and developmental needs of your employees!

  • Constantly monitor the impact the modified behaviour has on the organisation.
  • Intervene and modify the list of favourable behaviours to optimise their impact on the
    organisation.

To succeed in 2022, organisations must revisit and shape their values in order to better align with the requirements and needs of today’s workforce. Understand that it is not a one-day process but an ongoing and continuous one. It’s only a matter of time before more and more organisations realise the importance of values and focus on a continual strategy to bring in a positive change. The changing shift has made it clear that values will be one of the best ways to drive greater effectiveness and performance in their businesses in the modern world.

Pro tip: Don’t forget that value systems need to be modified from time to time when circumstances change, and new goals must be set.

Looking for defining your own set of values, or to review and refine the ones that your organisation already has? Either way, you will be strengthening your core and giving purpose to your actions.

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