Does your workplace reflect your personal values?

Your workplace values are the guiding principles that are most important to you about the way that you work. You use these deeply held principles to choose between right and wrong ways of working, and they help you make important decisions and career choices.

Some (possibly conflicting) examples of workplace values include:

  • Being accountable.
  • Making a difference.
  • Focusing on detail.
  • Delivering quality.
  • Being completely honest.
  • Keeping promises.
  • Being reliable.
  • Being positive.
  • Meeting deadlines.
  • Helping others.
  • Being a great team member.
  • Respecting company policy and rules, and respecting others.
  • Showing tolerance.

Your organization’s workplace values set the tone for your company’s culture, and they identify what your organization, as a whole, cares about. It’s important that your people’s values align with these.

When this happens, people understand one another, everyone does the right things for the right reasons, and this common purpose and understanding helps people build great working relationships. Values alignment helps the organization as a whole to achieve its core mission.

When values are out of alignment, people work towards different goals, with different intentions, and with different outcomes. This can damage work relationships, productivity, job satisfaction, and creative potential.

The most important thing that you need to do when interviewing someone is understand his or her workplace values. After all, you can train people to cover skills gaps, and you can help people gain experience. But it’s really hard to get people to change their values; and they will be “problem workers” until they do.