Values and attraction

Many people are drawn to work for organisations whose espoused values they find attractive. They hope to be able to make a valued contribution. This attraction works well for people in leadership positions. Being clear on your values provides a powerful hiring filter, a decision-making support tool and basic motivation.

A number of leaders I work are interested in how to hire the right people. Explaining your values supports this process. It makes it clear to the candidate what sort of organisation they may be joining and what behaviour is expected. They are then free to decide if this matches to their values and how they want to work. (Side note: in a job interview, both interviewer and interviewee are under scrutiny. It’s not only will a position be offered, but also will the offer be accepted.)

If an organisational unit’s values come through in daily work, then staff are much better able to decide how to act in given situations. They don’t need to ask for detailed guidance, they can just evaluate how the different proposed actions fit to the values. This takes care of many decisions, freeing up a leader’s time to develop strategy and staff.

Alignment between the unit’s values and those of its staff is an important ingredient for motivation. One recent discussion with a group of managers centred on the discrepancy between the officially-held values of their organisation and what they experienced during their working day. Some were so disappointed that inner resignation was starting to take hold.

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