Shared Values Drive Morale AND Profits

Years ago, ANZ Bank in Australia was the least popular bank in the country. It transformed itself by asking staff what their values were and how they could be manifested in the business. The result was a dramatic rise in standing and profits.

Just last week, a colleague announced that she was going to work for a company whose values made her heart sing and brought joy to the customers. She walked away from her old job.

Something is happening in the world of work.

It was long thought that organizational values belonged in that category of “soft” and not capable of being quantified. But if you read carefully the summer 2018 edition of FAST COMPANY Magazine, you will discover that creative, fast-rising organizations are attracting attention because they are driven by value and purpose FIRST. Reese Witherspoon graces the cover of this business publication.

As the article states, “Witherspoon’s commitment to increasing the number of women in prominent roles in Hollywood—on screen and behind the scenes—predates the rise of the Time’s Up movement, of which she is a leader. It is at the heart of Hello Sunshine, her media company, which aims to tell women’s stories across a variety of platforms.”

Consider these questions to see if stated organizational values align.

  1. What are the STATED top 5 values of this organization? Don’t just ask this of top management. Ask this at skip-levels too.
  2. Is what we “say” and what we do consistent? In other words, what does this value look like in action?
  3. What are your top five personal values?
  4. How do your values align with the organization? If not, what changes would the organization need to make for alignment?

This last question is dangerous. But be warned. If senior leaders don’t really care and have no intention of making shifts if necessary, then consider this article nice but not necessary. (Actually, it is very necessary; however, actions speak louder than words.)

Remember: resilient leaders and resilient organizations will stand the test of time because they create connections that count with all stakeholders’ minds and hearts. Values resonate with the heart.