The latest Global Workforce Study by Willis Towers Watson reports that only 37% of employees globally are highly engaged in their work. Now more than ever, employees are seeking work experiences that align with their own values and preferences.
When core company values align with those of your employees there is not only higher engagement, but a common understanding and shared sense of purpose that drives the organisation forward in achieving its mission.
Why Engagement is Important
Management consultancy Gallup defines engagement as being highly involved in and enthusiastic about one’s work and workplace. Engaged employees are psychological ‘owners’ who drive performance and innovation, moving the organisation forward.
These employees are happier and more productive, and organisations with a fully engaged workforce are 22% more profitable. Alternatively, disengaged employees have 37% higher absenteeism and are likely to be looking for a new job elsewhere.
Defining Core Values
A clear set of values are the foundation of a strong workplace culture, guiding employees to think and act with those values in mind. Although these core values are often listed on company websites and introduced during the onboarding process, how many employees actually know them? A study from Reward Gateway revealed that only “23% of employees feel completely informed about the values of the organisation they work for.”
You can assess the strength of your company’s values by asking a few questions:
• Are leaders at all levels of the organisation embracing core company values and leading by example, or are they saying one thing and doing another? • Is there a clear understanding of how the values impact the role of each employee in achieving company success? Can they be framed in behavioural terms? • Are values clearly communicated throughout the employment lifecycle? This means from onboarding and training, reward and benefit programs, through to the exit process.
As we continue to grow and evolve as a company, we recently decided to revisit our values. For our directors, it was important to involve employees from different teams in the discussion process. For larger companies, an internal survey may be appropriate to collect feedback from a range of employees across the wider business.
We also incorporate discussion around our values during the review process, which happens twice per year. As part of their review, employees are asked to share how they demonstrate our core values in their day-to-day interactions with clients, candidates and each other. If you want your employees to ‘live’ your values, it’s important to create a support structure and markers to recognise achievements demonstrating those values.
Although company values are recognised as part of an organisation’s DNA, they are naturally going to evolve alongside your business as it grows. Communicating values clearly, listening to feedback, and rewarding desired behaviours will help create a more productive, happier, and engaged workforce.