There are two types of values that affect your day-to-day life, especially when that life involves working for a living. Personal and workplace values help guide you when it comes to making decisions or dealing with conflict. Personal values are the standards to which you hold yourself to, like moral and ethics. Whereas workplace values set the tone for your organization’s culture, and they identify what your organization, as a whole, cares about.
With the recession upon us and job security and availability scarce, it becomes hard to stay true to the values you set as an individual or as an organization. Whether it’s pinching a value here, extending the truth there or lying just a little bit to justify the ends, it takes an extra dose of courage to resist compromising your core values especially in these hard times. When deciding to discredit your values in order to get ahead as an organization or as an individual, you need to keep in mind that when you weaken your values it is harder to get them back.
In a recessionary economy or not, we must understand that ethical dilemmas and choices are unavoidable parts of one’s work life. Jobseekers should investigate the culture of the organization and the specific work group they may join. However, even the businesses that promote good corporate cultures, a re-evaluation of what our organization believes in or stands for, can help refresh staffs’ memories and embolden leadership to stick to their ‘true north.’ Recently we completed a values assessment with an organization. Over 95% of the organization completed the assessment with 90% of respondents saying values were very relevant to relevant in their job. It’s not surprising that we are living in an era where corporate and organizational values are scarce or at the very least not publicly on display or demonstrated, and yet we have a growing population yearning for those very organizations to embody key values as a core mission.
Values in themselves help us make decisions, and keep on with day-to-day life. Having values in your organization, or within your team helps give structure and organization to how you operate. We make our best decisions when we have core values to lean back on. Look at Johnson and Johnson’s reaction to the Tylenol Scare. When an organization is in sync, and shares the same core values there is less second-guessing when the question comes up on how to do something or deal with a situation. Shared values also create a sense of community and belonging when like minded people work together to improve the work environment.
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