Do values age?

Values are the core of the company’s culture. They are guidelines which people need to ingrain and follow. Needless to say, they are of little value if they are not understood or considered as important by the leaders of the company. 

Actions speak louder than words. Leaders need to demonstrate the company’s values, which ultimately should also be their own. It is their responsibility. If the company and its leaders can share these, then their leadership style must reflect them in every action or decision they take. Values breed behaviour and each leader needs to breathe them in everything they do.

It is usually harder to ensure that the company’s values are shared with its people than with its leaders. We’ve very likely to have heard the words ‘cultural fit’. This ‘fit’ is the chance or probability that the employees either already share the same values or can adapt to them. If this ‘fit’ is successful, then the likelihood of the employee being more engaged and productive at the workplace is higher.

But, if an employee is no longer adopting them, does it mean something is wrong with the person or the values? It is possible that values age and at times, you might need to sit with your people and allow them to revisit them and set new ones together. Values are also very likely to change if strategy changes. Antiquated values do not mean that the company does not have a strong culture. A strong culture is in fact one that changes as the organisation continues to live.

About the author(s)

Maria Zahra is Managing Director of SurgeAdvisory. She has over fourteen years of human resources and business advisory experience.