Valuing your values: do they match your organisation's?
Guest post by Peter Cullen
This article originally appeared in AIM: for leadership and management excellence, AIM's bimonthly magazine exclusively for AIM Members.
Increasing numbers of companies are assessing potential employees’ values before making the decision to engage them. They ask potential employees to complete a variety of assessment questionnaires that will provide a profile on their values. The belief is that hiring a person with values that may be similar to the company’s values goes a long way to creating ‘values alignment’ which, in short, leads to greater personal happiness in the workplace, longevity in the company and potentially higher performance.
This must also be matched of course with the right experience, knowledge and qualifications to ensure they possess the capabilities to perform the role. This makes a great deal of sense for a company that is spending a lot of time and money researching the market and trying to find the best fit for the company.
If companies want to engage people with similar values then it makes sense for individuals looking for new employment to ensure they assess the values of the prospective company before they accept an offer of employment.
This could be a decisive moment in your life. Taking on a new role in a new company without knowing its values may be disastrous. Doing so without knowing your own personal values may be worse. Your values are your beliefs that support the way you think, feel and act during every moment of your life. They are your drivers of what is right and wrong in your world, the barometer by which you gauge relationships and decisions; they are the foundations of your meaning in life, the core ingredients of who you are.
This is a good way to understand your values: find the personal time and space to sit quietly. Consider what is important to you then try to uncover a single word that you can relate to. Note down all your words and what each one means to you. Review your words and hold on to the most important. Allow a couple days or weeks to pass then rewrite existing descriptions or add new words. Hold on to the most important.
Are there any you want to discard? Keep going until you know or feel these words and their descriptions match who you are. Some examples may be family, wealth, legacy, fun, independence, truth, love, unity, balance, challenge and there are many more. You may consult a trusted friend for guidance. Your personal values are the strengths of who you are. Knowing and living them is being true to yourself in a quiet, confident and self-fulfilling way, making it more likely for you to choose to work in a company with values that align with yours.
Peter Cullen is an AIM facilitator who facilitates AIM’s Manage People Effectively course. This is a three-day program that engages in self-reflection activities where people develop their capabilities as managers and leaders. Peter has been facilitating programmes, workshops, forums and meetings with people ranging from front line staff through to senior executives for many years. He demonstrates the knowledge and expertise gained from his 31 year career in international aviation which covered customer service, business development and 10 years in senior management.