How Do Values Impact Your Workplace Culture?

Your industry and your company will never stop changing, but a solid foundation of values can help hold a workplace together. Stated company values create a powerful declaration of your intentions for your organization’s culture.


Values keep your organization moving forward. Negative issues with values can become very visible very fast. The contrast is clear when we evaluate the values at Top Workplaces vs. average organizations. On average, only 65% of employees at the typical organization respond positively when asked about their organization’s values. But at Top Workplaces, that positive response rate jumps to around 90%.

So how can you best address creating and living strong values within your organization? Consider these steps:

• Create and display posters celebrating cultural values. Research has shown that employees who keep values top-of-mind are often more engaged.

• Make values part of the conversation by recognizing people who show values and tying company announcements and celebrations to company values.

• Consider how you and your leadership represent your values every day.

In the big picture, here are some other considerations:

• If you don’t have stated company values, create them! If you’re not sure if your values are right for your culture now, consider revisiting them.

• Encourage and empower employees to consider values when uncertain about their decisions. Create routes for them to call out when values aren’t represented.

• Reinforce company values, celebrate them in action, and provide a safe way to learn about violations.

• Be on the lookout for a disconnect between the stated values and what’s reflected through action.

• Ensure all senior leaders model your organization’s values and hold them accountable when they falter.

• Be transparent. Some managers might think concerns about values or bad news should be hidden, but most employees value honesty and humility over comfortable ignorance.

Values are one of the clearest and easiest ways to state leadership’s intentions for the culture and forge a culture that supports business goals. Their importance cannot be overstated.

Laura Brinton is content marketing director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed more than 2 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2019. Energage is The Washington Post’s research partner for Top Workplaces.

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