Your newest recruit, Brandon, has been working with your team for several weeks now, and you're wondering if you made a mistake in hiring him.
His workplace values are very different from those of your team, and from the values of your organization as a whole.
Your core team members care passionately about doing work that helps others. They value teamwork, and they're always willing to pitch in or stay late if someone is behind on an important deadline. This has led to a culture of trust, friendliness, and mutual respect within the team.
Brandon, on the other hand, wants to climb the corporate ladder. He's ambitious and ruthless, and he wants to focus on projects that will either build his expert status or achieve a public win. The problem is that his core career values clash with the core values of your team. This divide is causing infighting and bad feeling within the group.
We all have our own workplace values. And, while you can't always make sure that each person's values are perfectly aligned, you can try to hire people who fit. In this article, we'll look at how you can better recognize and understand these values – the attitudes that "make them tick."
The Importance of Workplace Values
Your workplace values are the guiding principles that are most important to you about the way that you work. You use these deeply held principles to choose between right and wrong ways of working, and they help you make important decisions and career choices.
Some (possibly conflicting) examples of workplace values include:
Making a difference.
Focusing on detail.
Being completely honest.
Being a great team member.
Respecting company policy and rules, and respecting others.
Your organization's workplace values set the tone for your company's culture, and they identify what your organization, as a whole, cares about. It's important that your people's values align with these.
When this happens, people understand one another, everyone does the right things for the right reasons, and this common purpose and understanding helps people build great working relationships. Values alignment helps the organization as a whole to achieve its core mission.
When values are out of alignment, people work towards different goals, with different intentions, and with different outcomes. This can damage work relationships, productivity, job satisfaction, and creative potential.
The most important thing that you need to do when interviewing someone is understand his or her workplace values. After all, you can train people to cover skills gaps, and you can help people gain experience. But it's really hard to get people to change their values; and they will be "problem workers" until they do.