Organizational values and personal values lead to a more organic culture

An organization informs its culture, in part, by developing a set of organizational values. In the words of HRr, “As Human Resource leaders, it’s our job to lead the business in defining the values it holds dear, translating those values into behaviors appropriate to each level of the organization…” We’ve spent some time recently (see here and here) describing the WHY, WHAT and HOW of values at the individual level and why knowing your values is critical to being an authentic leader.

As HRr talks about how organizations should align organizational values with individual behaviors, if you’re a young professional looking for that next place to work, pay attention to how that next place lines up with your values.

Here’s a few questions to consider when looking at a potential organization:

  • What are this organization’s values?
  • How well are the values on the poster integrated into the culture at the office?  How do the people I’m meeting talk about or demonstrate the values?
  • How do the people interviewing me seem to live these values?
  • How do these values line up against my personal values?
  • Will I find affinity with others at this organization?
  • Will I be excited to show up here because I care about what this organization cares about?

You’ve probably heard people around you talk about how, “Millennials these days, they want to feel good about where they work. Etc, etc.” Well, while that may be true, it’s too broad and doesn’t fully consider the complex emotions and reasons driving us young professionals these days.

Values shouldn’t be a box checked by an organization as a recruiting strategy or to fulfill a culture quota. They should be an honest representation of what’s most important to people throughout that organization. And if it is, say, “yes,” go hence, find your new stomping ground and make your way in a community of people and passions that will accelerate your leadership because it’s a great match.

One of the most common reasons our HBIC Ladies in Action cited as choosing to stay at a company (or move on) was value alignment (or misalignment). Our #HBICinAction Heather Apple at GE Aviation made a shoutout to Integrity: “Integrity is a big thing for my company and that resonates with me. It’s one of the reasons I like working here.”

How are you validating the values of the organization’s you’re interacting with or considering?

Kara Davidson, co-founder, wolf & heron