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How Values Guide Workplace Culture & Enhance Employee Engagement

Luke Kreitner
7/18/23 6:00 AM

Values are no longer just a part of corporate conversation. With the advent of digitization, social media, and globalization, transparency has put companies' intentions out for public evaluation. This has led to a new set of rules as we step into a new era of work.

But why are values important?

For starters, they provide clarity. When a company continually reinforces its values and makes decisions based on them, everyone can see the company's true intentions. This is essential for employees, prospective talent, business partners, and customers, as it aligns their perception of the company.

In fact, reinforcing values has been shown to increase net profit. In one Gallup case study, a financial institution increased its net profit by 85% over a five-year period by clarifying its core values and embedding them in its culture.

Values can also serve as a moral compass for organizations and help define their identity. When values are no longer relevant or reinforced, employees may struggle to define their place within the organization, resulting in a cultural downward spiral and decline in engagement.

Furthermore, values can be translated into actionable behaviors that shape a strong company culture. Take Squarespace's values, for example: 

  • Be your own customer
  • Empower individuals
  • Design is not a luxury
  • Good work takes time
  • Optimize towards ideals
  • Simplify

These values apply to both individuals and the organization as a whole. Each value can be translated into actionable, rewardable behaviors, reinforcing organizational identity and motivating employees.

Recognition programs that tie organizational values to tailored employee behaviors based on achievement, effort, attitude, and performance are also essential for employee engagement.

In summary, a strong set of values strengthen organizational identity, boosts employee engagement, and creates clarity and alignment. These are critical in developing cultural identity in an organization.


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