All of us have our own values that we apply in whatever workplace we go to; even managers do. For managers, there can never be an assurance that the people he or she hires have the same workplace values. Nevertheless, it is important that company leaders try to hire only those who will fit in their existing workplace values. What we are going to look at in this article are the ways you can identify and easily understand what workplace values are.

Why Are Workplace Values Important?

A person’s workplace values are the principles that guide you in terms of how you work. These principles are what you use when choosing between the right ways and the wrong ways of working. Plus, you are guided by your workplace values as you make decisions regarding your career and your job.

Here are some examples of important workplace values:
- Reliability
- Optimism
- Honesty
- Delivering quality
- Attention to detail
- Making a difference
- Accountability
- Practicing tolerance
- Respect for company rules
- Being a team player

It is the workplace values of your organization that actually set the tone for its culture and identity. Thus, it is vital that company or organization leaders choose people whose values align with those of the organization’s. With this kind of set-up, it is easier for people to understand one another. Workers are also more likely to identify the right reasons for every decision that they make. Having a common understanding and goals is key to building good working relationships. In short, values alignment makes it possible for an organization to achieve its goals and mission as a group.

On the other hand, when the values of the people in an organization are not aligned, people vary in terms of their goals. They work with different intentions also, which lead to different, and sometimes undesirable, outcomes. When these things happen, work relationships can be ruined. Job satisfaction is also poor, and productivity is unsatisfactory.

How Are the Important Workplace Values Identified?

If your goal is to identify the workplace values of other people, you should first see to it that you have an understanding of your own values. Once you have identified the values that matter most to you, it will be easier to determine and understand other people’s values. Remember that you are identifying others’ values for the purpose of raising awareness while at the same time encouraging good habits and behaviour in the workplace.

You may do this by first discussing with your most important and respected subordinates about what workplace values they think are the most important. Tell them to talk among themselves or brainstorm the specific values they feel the best performers in their groups possess. Take note of the values they are going to mention and let them see what they have come up. When they are done adding to this list, narrow it down to perhaps the top 5 workplace values that matter most.

It is a good idea to let them talk about how these values are demonstrated by their team members on a regular basis. You would want to know how these values actually come to life and what you can do to encourage people to acquire such values.

Keep in mind that your goal is not only to identify the important workplace values that members of your organization should possess. More importantly, you want everyone to understand why it is very important for everyone to have values that are aligned with the values of the company. Make them realize that having the right values in the workplace can also help them have an effective and successful career planning.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.