Core values corporate mission vision responsibility. Hand pressing button on screen. Source/AdobeStock

Organizational values matter. Values are the guiding principles underlying priorities and driving decisions. Yes, values matter, but organizations themselves don’t really have values. It’s people who do. A person’s values affect their relationships, how they spend their time, what they focus on, how they think about their work and what decisions they make. Alignment of personal values with a common set of core organizational values enables people to work together to achieve their goals. Values that encourage trust, promote teamwork, inspire innovation and support employee growth both engage the workforce and positively impact the productivity and profitability of the organization.

Unfortunately, in far too many cases, what organizations list as values are not really the ones in operation. Gallup reports that only 23% of U.S. employees strongly agree that they are able to apply their organization’s values to their work every day. Plus, only 27% strongly agree that they “believe in” their organization’s values, in large part because they do not see them driving the operation of the business. A University of Chicago Booth School of Business study on “The Value of Corporate Culture” and Gallup both found that what matters is whether employees buy into what leaders say their company’s values are.

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