Behind every action lies a set of values. Values which dictate our sense of right and wrong, which underpin our growth and development, and which help mould our future. The decisions we make every day, whether they be trivial or momentous, are vivid reflections of our values. Much like individuals, teams are equally as dependent on a system of values.

In a workplace context, these values might be explicitly articulated, or might be informally embedded in a workplace’s culture, or both. Sometimes, such values are missing, undefined, or misaligned, which can lead to disorganised teamwork, disengaged workers, and confused or inappropriate decision making.

So, what is it about strongly held values that contribute so much to an effective team?

1. Values secure a steady vision:

An organisation’s values act as behavioural guidance – they are the ethics and principles which influence a company’s character, motivations and behaviours. Thus, when effectively established within an organisation, company values can offer a cohesive and collective vision for a business, and the people within them.

2. Values help us make good decisions:

An organisation’s values also act as a reference point, to which employees can refer to determine the best course of action for their company. When faced with an unfamiliar or challenging dilemma, values act as a guide, assisting and persuading employees to make the best decision for their organisation. This reference point of values also enhances confidence in your staff – by reflecting on the extent to which their judgment or action echoes company values, employees can be assured that they are making the right choice.

3. Values drive company performance:

Alongside a steady vision and decision making, values are the driving factor for company performance. Organisational performance is defined by the collective result of how team members think and behave, how they react to situations, and tackle obstacles, all as a product of their workplace values.

Indeed, the thoughtful and skilled integration of company values, and the expression of this through brand purpose, is proven to have a direct and measurable impact on scalability and profit within an organisation. A recent White Paper by Kantor Consulting found that brands with a high sense of purpose increased in profitability by 175 percent over a 12-year period — a statistic well above the 86 percent median growth rate [1].

4. Values create stability and support positive workplace culture:

In times of insecurity, uncertainty or change, company values act as a means of stability, navigation, and motivation. Drawing on company values in times of collective workplace stress can control, refocus, and encourage a team. Values allow for a dedicated and enthusiastic company culture.

5. Values improve recruitment and retention:

Whether it be subconscious or cognisant, when job searching, most people seek out an organisation that shares their personal values. This alignment of values between companies and their employees is becoming more and more important for modern-day jobseekers. Indeed, a 2016 LinkedIn study reported that 67% of workers in 6 key countries (including Australia, India and the US) would not work for an organisation whose purpose and intentions didn’t align with their own values. Furthermore, 70% of workers would be willing to work for less pay in a company whose values did reflect their own [2].

It follows that companies that promote and maintain a set of strong values are in an exceptional position to attract like-minded and compatible candidates. By recruiting employees who hold the same values, workers will thrive and perform at a higher standard, ultimately assisting employee retention and business success.

Not sure how to get started on establishing and integrating company values?

For an organisation’s values to really matter, it goes far beyond a mere list of generic principles. For significance and efficacy, company values need to authentically define the way in which a team operates, performs, and interacts. The entire team must then connect with and endorse these values, both in and beyond the workplace. Our Workplace Values & Effective Teamwork workshop helps businesses and their personnel to refocus and reinforce their shared values and goals, leading to more cohesive and effective teamwork, better decision making and an improved workplace culture based on the things that