VOICE September 2015 - page 6

What are values?
One way to describe your workplace values is that
they are the guiding principles that are most im-
portant to your organisation and you, about the way
the way in which you work. They should be used to
choose between the right and wrong ways of work-
ing and help guide you when making important
workplace decisions.
Values are often the link between the organisation’s
founding purpose and ways of working, and the cur-
rent organisational culture.
1
They can also be de-
fined or redefined by the organisation’s Executive
Team, either with or without employee involve-
ment, at critical points in the organisation’s devel-
opment. Either way they set the tone for organisa-
tional and individual development.
Are Values important?
Research
2
shows that most employees recognise the
significance of organisational values, and consider
that it is important to have defined values that gov-
ern employee behaviour. Similarly organisations
across
all
sectors
(e.g.
Virgin
Media,
Choccywoccydoodah, Healthspan, NHS, and the
British Army), will seek through their internal and
external communications, and policies and proce-
dures to align their employees with their values,
What do Values mean for you as a leader?
If we agree that when your people’s values align
with the organisation’s that people understand one
another, everyone does the right things for the right
reasons and this common purpose will help people
to build great working relationships.
Then, it is imperative that you as the leader “live
and breathe” your organisation’s values. Actions
often speak louder than words, and therefore you as
the leader must lead by example and ensure that
those values are “accorded the highest priority”
3
,
are fully explained to your staff and applied consist-
ently. If you are not a role model for the values, then
why should your people adopt them? Where this
works, the reputation of the organisation will be
extremely high.
What can you do if you feel that as a leader or
leadership team that you are failing to consist-
ently apply your organisation’s values in your
behaviour?
One solution is to use your values to obtain feed-
back on your workplace behaviours, and use the
support and challenge of individual and team coach-
ing to positively address this. Currently, I am work-
ing with a high value food manufacturing
company who is doing just this.
The Executive team collectively felt
that they needed to improve their
workplace behaviours. They had noted
the signs of becoming an underper-
forming team – people working to-
wards different goals, misunderstand-
ings of each other’s intentions, poor
behaviour with members of their team,
and reluctance for ideas for improvement to be
shared. They also spotted that their team members
were starting to underperform as well, noting sev-
eral undesirable behaviours.
They had organisational values to embody how eve-
ryone should work, and they recognised that these
could be the means to identify the behaviours which
they needed to develop. Also, as a team they felt that
they would need some unbiased and objective help
in order to move forward individually and as a
team.
Values—Their Role in Developing
Leaders
By Graham Tate
Graham Tate
One solution is to use your values to
obtain feedback on your workplace
behaviours, and use the support and
challenge of individual and team
coaching to positively address this.”
Everyone does the right things for
the right reasons and this common
purpose will help people to build
great working relationships.”
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