Top management typically establishes organisational values. These values are intended to guide people’s actions when carrying out company activities. However, each individual is also driven by their own set of personal values. Understanding how individual values influence work culture and performance is extremely beneficial for organisations.
How do you know if someone’s personal values are influencing their work?
Well, by simply paying attention to how people interact with one another at work and what they focus on. Personal and organisational values manifest themselves on a daily basis.
Individual Values in Action
Anjali (name changed), a project manager in the broadcasting industry, recalled a critical escalation of a customer issue at a recent storytelling workshop. The situation needed to be resolved quickly because there was content going live in less than two hours.
Normally, her team handles issues like these, but Anjali noticed the customer’s choice of words and knew she needed to intervene. Her senior team member, who was an expert in resolving such problems, was on personal leave that day.
Anjali was under pressure to resolve the issue quickly and salvage the customer relationship. Because no one else had the expertise to work on this particular issue, Anjali reluctantly decided to contact the senior member on the team.
When she called him, she discovered that he was on leave to celebrate his child’s birthday. She casually informed him about the emergency situation but stopped short of asking about the possibility of taking a few minutes to fix the problem. Instead, she paused her racing thoughts and asked the team member to get his kid on the phone and wished him a happy birthday.
Getting off the call, she quickly reflected on her interaction and then began evaluating the consequences of not having a timely resolution for the customer escalation. However, she soon received word from that same senior team member that the problem had been resolved. Though on leave, he had gone out of his way to fix the problem.
Values shape workplace culture
Anjali was sensitive to her teammate’s situation, and her teammate was sympathetic to the escalating situation and decided to take action.
Personal values guide people to go above and beyond to solve problems and make things happen even when such action is least expected.
Organizational values undoubtedly shape a company’s culture, but it is also built on the daily actions of its employees. Personal values drive these actions and they are what make the difference in how organisations perform.
About The Author
Vinod Krishna is a brand storytelling trainer and consultant at DustyPaths.
He brings 3 decades of experience in leading people, projects, and businesses
to forge new paths in storytelling, communication and leadership development.
He is an avid barefoot runner, trekker, theater artist, and photographer.
Connect with him on LinkedIn