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The importance of values in the workplace

Pubished 23rd April 2018

Throughout my recruitment career, one of the most important topics, and one that is always heavily discussed, is centred around values; the purpose of them and the impact they have on organisations. Are they THAT important? It always surprises me when I hear this.

Having worked within recruitment for over fifteen years, I can see an abundance of reasons why values make such a positive difference to organisations; from internal recruitment strategies to make sure employees are affiliated with company goals and steered in the right direction.

Having recently discussed this again, I thought it would be a great idea to detail some of the reasons why values are extremely important within the workplace.

Recruitment and retention are linked intrinsically with values and it’s the first place any organisation should look at if they are serious about building high performing teams. Being a Head of Internal Recruitment, the importance of values and the impact they have on people, teams, performance and culture is inescapable.

With such a readily available deluge of information available on companies these days, from Glassdoor reviews to Google ratings, job seekers (79%) are sticking on their homework caps and researching companies with a fine-tooth comb, to understand an organisation they are applying for and whether they would be a good cultural fit.

By having company values, organisations are able to detail what they care about most and candidates can self-eliminate themselves if they don’t match. Similarly, candidates who do apply will most likely have a better cultural fit.

From my perspective, I can look beyond the CV, the experience and success and access whether the candidate has the right values to be a huge success with us.

Values also affect our decision-making. For example, if a value is centred on attention to detail, there’s a benchmark to assess everyone’s work by and employees know what they are being measured against.

Values are critical as they give people something to gauge their standards by and know what to prioritise in the work they carry out.

Values are also important for learning and development. By having values, organisations are able to set the tone on company culture and educate people on what as a whole, the company holds dearest. For example, if a core value is ‘honesty’ it becomes the minimum standard for behaviour.

Those that are untrustworthy – despite success – cannot progress. Those that champion the company values, are always honest may find promotion criteria extend past their quarterly performance but on their long-term development and potential.

Values are crucial for leading people. Without values, organisations will most likely find employees working towards different goals, with different intentions and different outcomes. This can also reduce job productivity, job satisfaction and damage working relationships.

Finally, values shape and influence our behaviour in the workplace as a whole. They act as a guide on how to interact with others and so it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in the business 10 minutes or 10 years – you can feel comfortable because you know what behaviours you can expect to see and what behaviours are expected of you.

Values are there to positively influence our lives. I wholeheartedly believe every organisation should invest in developing a set of workplace values to augment an organisations culture, vision and mission.

Here at InterQuest Group, we have six strong values we abide by. Strength, Pace, Innovation, Respect, Integrity and Teamwork.

If you’d like to be part of an organisation which creates a positive work environment through strong company values, or if you’d simply like to find out more about them why not check out the values.

By our Head of Internal Recruitment Julie Pratten