The power of value-driven teams and organizations

Employees want to work for values-based organizations, ones that have a living, breathing culture of core values ​​shared by all employees. Over the past couple of years, it’s gotten easier, even lower priority, as employers around the world have given employees options to stay safe and healthy in the comfort of their own home, saving time and effort. money on commuting and spending more free time with loved ones. As the world began to reopen, many of these employers called their employees back to the office, which also coincided with a mass exodus of employees from organizations whose values ​​no longer (or perhaps never) aligned with theirs. .

But why have these organizations reverted to traditional workplace and leadership models? Why would organizations choose to spend more money and time on exiting employees and replacing positions, rather than better understanding what their employees need to be productive? If organizations are to be successful in retaining talent, they must listen and adapt.

In addition to sharing core values ​​with their employer, employees also want to be valued by their organization and one of the best ways to communicate this to the employee is through flexibility. Studies have shown that employer inflexibility hurts productivity. Leading with empathy and trusting your employee to do their job leads to increased productivity and higher overall well-being. I don’t believe in the old idea that trust has to be earned. Trust must be granted. If you hired an employee on your team, it should be because you performed due diligence through behavioral interviews, technical testing, background and reference checks, proper onboarding, and training. necessary ; in this case, then you should trust them to do the job.

If the employee struggles, ask why. For example, if an employee in your group is the only one caring for a sick person and he requests a change of schedule, would you refuse it? If your answer is yes, why? Based on the employee’s response, you adapt and go from there. Yes, you – you as a leader must listen and adapt to help your team succeed. If they can get the same work done at the same level of performance as in the past, what reason is there to refuse such a request?

Now more than ever, successfully managing and retaining teams requires leading with intent by clearly communicating goals and expectations, and remembering to do so, above all, with humility and empathy. A clear understanding of goals, expectations and values, which helps increase productivity and eliminate unwanted noise and bias. However, as humans, we make assumptions. Naive realism, which is people’s belief (read: assumption) that they perceive the world objectively rather subjectively, is a flaw of the human condition, and we often see leaders thinking they are making realistic or pragmatic decisions, but they rarely considered all available scenarios.

For this reason, it is important to communicate performance expectations and values ​​during the first week of employment. Consider using a thoughtful and collaborative approach with a 30-60-90 day worksheet that aligns employee and management on goals and expectations for those first few days with the organization. Usually, the employee will accept and adopt these expectations and values ​​as their own because they genuinely want to belong in the culture of the company.

Employees who feel valued and share similar values ​​are likely to work together more harmoniously and management will excel as they better understand how to guide and motivate their team. Values-based organizations with clear communication, empathetic leadership, and reasonable flexibility will benefit from this more connected and engaged team, as well as the economic success that comes from lower employee turnover and increased productivity.

Kiran Sanghera, PHR, is the head of human resources and culture at Miller Kaplan, one of the top 100 CPA firms in the United States. For the past five years, she has led organizations in their journey towards a more flexible and empathetic culture.

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