Importance of organisational values

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It is becoming increasingly important to growing numbers of individuals to experience a sense of purpose at work and to work for an organisation that puts organisational values into practice. 

What are the implications?

  • A growth in the sector’s workforce as a result of a search for ‘zenployment’ – where workers seek a more fulfilling and compassionate career.
  • A continuation of the current trend of ‘downshifting’ where individuals increasingly value experiencing a sense of purpose at work over high salaries. This may become more prevalent as those in high paying jobs in the financial sector are made unemployed and unemployment rises as a result of the economic downturn.
  • The growing importance of organisational values to employees will put pressure on businesses to show they practice some form of corporate responsibility.

Moving forward

As experiencing a sense of purpose at work becomes more important to the public, the sector needs to make sure it retains its competitive advantage and re-examines the psychological contract that binds employees to the sector (i.e. why should people work in the voluntary sector?)

  • How can your organisation emphasise the importance of its values and the causes it champions in order to attract potential employees?
  • This might mean investing in marketing strategies that promote your organisation’s services and causes that will appeal to a range of and different audiences.

Want to know more?

Becoming a Values-based Organisation

Published by: Roffey Park Institute – a charitable trust for organisational and personal training

Date: 2005

Format: Web

What is it? A think piece on how organisations will need to become values-based if they are to suceed in the future.

How useful is this? This short article reflects on research to find that the importance to employees of values-based ways of operating has grown steadily and outlines why organisational leaders need to take it serviously.  It defines what a values-based organisation is, puts forward a business case focusing on loss of talent and reputation, and explores why people are seeking more meaning in their work.  It concludes by looking at corporate social responsibility andcynicism, highlighting how business leaders must make sure the ‘walk’ matches the ‘talk’.

Other comments:

Millions want to quit the rat race

Published by: The Telegraph - a right of centre broadsheet

Date: 2007

Format: Web

What is it? An article exploring the new trend of ‘zenployment’ using research by Norwich Union.

How useful is this? This short article looks at how people are increasingly seeking fulfillment through taking on a more emotionally rewarding or ethical second career or ‘zenployment’. The survey shows that people increasingly want to believe their careers contribute towards a better future - not just for themselves but for society.  Financial commitments were the main reason for the delay in starting this career, with popular choices including charity worker or yoga teacher.

Other comments:

The ethical employee

Published by: The Future Foundation and The Work Foundation – a not-for-profit organisation aiming to improve economic performance and quality of working life in organisations.

Date: 2004

Format: PDF (165 KB)

What is it? A report, based on a survey of 1050 people, showing that companies could improve the recruitment and retention of talented staff by better supporting employees’ home needs and paying more attention to environmental and community concerns.

How useful is this? This report looks at the ‘ethical employee’ examining the role of ethics in job choice and whether its importance, if any, is changing over time.  It outlines how the importance of CSR to companies and of developing an attractive employer ‘brand’ to recruit and retain employees.  It goes on to look at the views of the UK workforce towards corporate social responsibility and business ethics issues, how these issues rank against other factors (such as pay, job security or flexible work patterns), how well various UK employers fare when judged against these criteria, and the extent to which employees are prepared to translate their views and attitudes about ethical issues into behaviour.

Other comments:

Last updated at 16:05 Wed 23/Feb/11.


How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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