“Use it or lose it.” That is what happens when you don’t use your muscles. And when you use such muscles after a long time, they are sore and when you have your next workout or a stretch or yoga you notice how misaligned you feel. You realize that there is more pain or imbalance on one side v/s your other side. Of course, we all have our dominant side, but when you do yoga or core exercises you see the stark difference between your left and right side. You choose to ignore this and when it becomes unbearable you decide to correct the poor alignment. You resolve to go regularly to yoga or stretch or in some cases to the chiropractor or to the physiotherapist.
What happens if you choose to continue to ignore ?
How often have we seen in organizations where executives spend too much time drafting, redrafting vision, mission and values statements. Over time they become ignorant or indifferent to poor alignment. They spend nowhere near enough time trying to align their organizations with the values and visions already in place- Jim Collins
If the people in a business or company are not aligned with the values and vision of the organization, you often see the majority of people pulling in a direction different from the overall vision, or scattered aimlessly. The organization as a result starts to fall apart. Values are such an integral part of who we are and if our behavior and actions are different from our inherent values, conflicts arise and we begin to suffer from the negative consequences. Sometimes the actions are different from values because of fear especially in cases of abuse or violence or though being a believer in being environment friendly you might not always buy organic food and so on.
When it comes to organizations how can you tell that the values are not in alignment? Values exist at each individuals’ level and if the organization has a high engagement level, with a deep level of trust, commitment and where employees are appreciated and recognized, and growth and progress of individuals and the organization is taking place, there is a high likelihood that the values are in alignment.
An organization which has all or some of the following attributes is seriously misaligned:
1.Lack of trust and faith among the team members within departments and across multi functions. No faith in senior management
2.Customer complaints and dissatisfaction is high.
3.Culture is one of criticize, condemn and complain. There is no appreciation or constructive feedback given to the employees at any level.
4.Command and control style of management. Information is not shared.
5.There is resentment, cynicism, blame and subversion
6.Profits and revenues are lagging those of competitors and on a downward spiral.
7.Turnover is high and engagement levels are low to abysmally low
8.Constant fire-fighting instead of progress and development
9.Costs are high and yet no new innovations or product lines are being introduced
10.People within the organization feel like a cog in the wheel and most have checked out mentally.
These are the warning signals and an organization which sees an increase in any or all the above aspects needs to look into what is going wrong? Working in line with the values is a daily process and starts from the time the vision is laid out, people are recruited to the firm and continues on an ongoing basis by reflecting on what is going well and what needs to improve and asking questions and listening to what the employees of the company have to say.
How to Understand People’s Workplace Values
1.Have a recruitment process where you find talent that is best in line with the organization values.
2.Identify such talent by asking focused questions at the interview stage. Get to know the person, their action and behaviors in different aspects of their role in an organization and in their life.
3.Look at their past work history. What were their attitudes with regard to matters of conflict or where they were in disagreement?
4.Get to know people, develop a positive attitude.
5. Where essential, do psychometric tests.
As leaders, listen, observe, communicate, appreciate and give positive feedback. Click To Tweet
Let your behavior as a leader be inspiring and worth modeling and let it show your values. Click To Tweet.
Link participation in the adoption of values and the behaviors and actions needed. Reflect, celebrate wins of your team and praise every improvement and give people a fine reputation to live up to. Click To Tweet.
Understand what influences the values of your team and how if at all they are developing and changing over time. Is this change healthy or for the worse?
How do you lead with passion and in alignment with your values?
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