About Workforce Echoes

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Organizational Values (1 in a series on values)

Values Determine Behavior

Do you ever step back, look at your life, the decisions you've made and the things that you have done and wonder why?  Why do you consistently follow a pattern when reacting to the world around you?  If you did step back, you would likely see certain patterns. Fear of certain things, the tendency to gravitate to similar types of people, or always avoiding certain situations, are examples of behavior patterns.  Mostly likely, you are using your own set of personal values to guide your behavior.  Your values are formed by the environment you grew up within--parents, teachers, significant events etc.  These events and experiences lead to certain beliefs which then serve to form your values. 

Organizations behave similarly. Whether an organization has declared values or not, values WILL determine behavior in all organizations.  Successful organizations have a set of strategic values integrated into all people practices.  This forms the foundation for the business ecosystem.  Values impact how employees behave and respond to customers, what goals are set and reached, what policies and procedures are followed, how managers treat employees, and how employees treat each other.  Just watch behavior.  You can also determine an organization’s values by finding out where time and money are spent.  Organizational leaders have a choice: allow any old values to naturally grow, or create, communicate and integrate strategic values that purposefully move the organization forward.  What values are controlling behavior in YOUR organization?

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