A recent funeral service I attended included an argument that individuals with a selfish outlook would find heaven “hell” due to the clash between their own values and the institutionalised values and behaviours of heaven. Reflecting upon how the same thought applies to individuals at work. For example, how happy is an individual who is committed to “personal wallet maximisation” in a very collaborative environment – as opposed to one that is uniformly “eat what you kill”? My hypothesis is that personal values that are aligned with those of one’s enterprise is a foundation for better engagement and a powerful way of addressing the poor level of employee engagement identified in numerous studies (including http://www.blessingwhite.com/EEE__report.asp).
For the last 30 years, “shared values” has been included in lists of the attributes of excellent companies – for example in the McKinsey 7S and Tom Peters & Bob Waterman’s In Search of Excellence. More recently. Extending this to Corporate Culture, I was interested to see UBS recognise that Corporate Culture, although difficult to measure, matters for value creation.
In my period as a Chief of Staff at a professional services firm, we had a concerted effort to incorporated enterprise values (showing courage, being connected and having character) into both our recruitment and performance review processes. I recall how difficult this was to do – particularly in an environment where technical skills were considered to be at a premium and senior leadership displayed a broad spectrum of values? Do you have any examples of recruitment candidates’ values being really effectively assessed during the recruiting process?