Like many organizations, you probably invest considerable time and effort articulating your company vision, mission, and values. And for good reason. These elements not only help to define your culture, but they also support your strategic goals and provide the foundation for a great employee experience. But do employee experiences truly align with your values? And if not, what can you do about it?
Not All Employees Are Aligned: Insights from Our Research
In our recent Employee Connections Study, we asked over 400 employees of large organizations to tell us how they would describe their employer. We found that while 60% of employees described their organization as responsible, far fewer described it as ethical (50%), forward-thinking (47%), or honest (39%). Only one segment, the super-connected employees, had an overwhelming majority who said their employer was ethical, forward-thinking, and honest.
These findings shed light on how different employee groups describe their employers. But the findings also suggest that while employers may say they are ethical and honest, many employees have experiences that conflict with those values.
The Importance of Helping Employees Connect With Organization Values
Every employee should understand and share the values that guide your organization’s strategic goals. So if your organization strives to be responsible, ethical, and honest, your employees should see those values come alive in their employee experience.
Here are three key reasons why it’s critical to deliver an employee experience that aligns with your organizational values:
Employees want to be aligned on values
Both prospective and existing employees place a high value on having shared values with their employer. A recent Qualtrics study found that 56% of employees wouldn’t consider working at a company if they disagreed with its values. Fifty-four percent said that values such as well-being, honesty, and respect were so important they would take a pay cut to work at a company that possessed those values.
It can support your employer branding and recruitment efforts
What employees say and feel about your organization and its values can impact your recruitment efforts. Employees today can not only write reviews on sites like Glassdoor, but they talk about their work experiences when interacting with candidates and people in their network. Ideally, what employees say about your organization’s values should be consistent with the organization’s actual values and employer branding messages.
It can help to build a strong sense of belonging among employees
Employees working together toward a common purpose may be less likely to develop siloes and more likely to work as one cohesive team. With a foundation of shared values, employees can feel they belong in the broader organization.
How to Connect Employees With Your Vision, Mission, and Values
Connecting employees to your organization’s values is critical to a more positive employee experience. But if you think your organization may need to do more to align employee experiences with its vision, mission, and values, consider taking the following actions:
Ask about values in your next employee survey
Ask questions to understand if employees understand your organization’s mission and values and if their employee experience embodies those values.
Talk about your values in team meetings and one-on-ones
Team discussions and one-on-one meetings can help company leaders understand how well employees connect to your stated vision, mission, and values. These discussions can also open the door to ideas for programs and activities that will help employees become more connected to the organization.
Help employees see their role in supporting your mission and values
Organizational values will have greater meaning to employees when they can see their role in promoting them throughout the organization. For example, you can give hiring managers tips for discussing company values with candidates and new hires. You can also use your recognition programs to reward employees who demonstrate company values in an exemplary way.
You can also help connect employees to your values at performance review time. At Ingenuity, employees complete a quarterly self-assessment and provide examples of actions they took that embody our company values (managers also give examples in their assessment). It’s been a great way for us to reinforce the importance of our values in everything we do.
Build a More Connected Workforce
As we found in our Employee Connections Study, employees have many ways to connect with their work, coworkers, and the entire organization. Download your copy of the study today, and get additional insights about driving a deeper connection between employees and your organization.