Creating a Values-Based Culture

By Kelly Michael, SVP Employee Experience at LiveTiles & Human Link

“Being a modern leader means listening to the sense of purpose employers are seeking from their work and testing whether the current purpose of your organization aligns with their values.

-Dr. Kirsten Ferguson 

There has never been a more critical time to better understand yourself and others and recognize that our shared humanity is our superpower. The pandemic was not merely a pause. In many ways, the event was an unexpected shock that triggered death awareness in many people, a time when people reevaluated their lives. 

 “What’s important to me?” “Does my life reflect the life I want to be living?” “Is my life and work aligned with my values?” 

Data indicates that for employees, it’s now non-negotiable that organizations see them as people. And when we dig into some of the data of professionals, it becomes clear why this is critical: 

  • 77% say they’ve experienced burnout. 
  • 60% are emotionally detached from their work. 
  • 19% are miserable. 
  • 64% say they frequently feel high stress.  

Organizations are facing challenges in attracting and retaining the right talent. So, how do we create this connectedness needed to thrive in this fragmented world? How do we understand people at a much deeper human level so that we learn what they need to perform at their best and thrive in work? 

KNOW YOUR EMPLOYEES’ VALUES

Values shape everything in life: our decision-making, reactions and responses, relationships, communication, and, last but certainly not least, our happiness and well-being. Research has shown that disengagement increases when people are unable to show up at work and live out their values, and people are at a higher risk of burnout and ill mental health. If our core values aren’t brought to the workplace, we suffer in terms of psychological and physical health.

On the other hand, when personal values are enabled in workplaces, we see increases in job satisfaction, work engagement, resiliency, trust, and creativity. And we know that personal values alignment processes have been shown to support organizational change management.

WHAT EXACTLY DO PERSONAL VALUES MEAN?

Personal values represent what is important in life. They drive our motivation, our goals, and our life’s highest priorities. They are the rulers or gauges you use to evaluate the world choosing what is good or bad, right or wrong.

Just like the roots of a tree, they hold you in place, sustain you, nourish you, and they’re lived out in the world through your strengths, talents, behavior, communication, and personality styles through all the different domains of your life. But they’re under the surface, so we don’t always see them. Conflict often arises not because of what we say, but because of our underlying values.

VALUES DRIVE MEANING AND PURPOSE AT WORK

Let’s think about purpose as the intersection of your values, strengths, talents, and passions that serve a need in the world. Values are essential because they are what motivates a person at their core. They determine how one finds meaning and purpose in life and at work.

We want to understand people deeply and to help them connect their authentic selves to their work and the organization so that performance and people thrive. When people are living their purpose within the workplace, we’re going to get highly engaged people.

Good leadership must listen to people and understand how they see their values manifest in their work. When people see their values incorporated into organizations, we get happier, more engaged people, resulting in a higher level of performance.

There’s a lot of power when we see people for who they authentically are, and we create space for them to bring their whole selves into the workplace.

As Brené Brown says, “Know my values and you know me. No values, no me. You don’t get any of me.”

There is a growing emphasis on understanding how our values are incorporated into our roles as people look to reconnect with work. We invite you to join us for our webinar as we explore how to create a values-based culture within the workplace.

A key component of this webinar is identifying and understanding personal values, and how they contribute to flourishing and performance on an individual and collective level.

Register now to access the webinar.