First of all, it’s a workplace game changer. Take it from Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones who spent three years trying to find out how to create the best workplace on Earth. The two wrote: “The executives we questioned made it clear that to be authentic, they needed to work for an authentic business. Underlying the differences of circumstance, industry and individual ambition we found six common imperatives.
“They desired a company where individual differences are nurtured; information is not suppressed or spun; the company adds values to staff, rather than extracting it from them; the business stands for something meaningful; the work itself is intrinsically rewarding; and there are no stupid rules.”
Each “virtue” accelerates your path forward and makes it more attractive to prospective hires. But more specifically, Goffee and Jones noted people wouldn’t follow a leader that felt inauthentic. As research from London Business School claimed, staff who feel they can be authentic at work display higher levels of commitment and performance.
Company values are the antithesis of phony and sits at the heart of your culture. If you hire and hold staff accountable based on your values, the values become the fabric of the business’ culture. And if you hire people who lie and cheat then your company will eventually head the same way.
In fact, corporate values are so important that top talent will immediately pass you by if you don’t deliver “the goods”. This was the conclusion of LinkedIn research, which found that UK bosses were missing out on hiring staff by not promoting their firm’s values – it was deemed a deal-breaker by 52 per cent of professionals. And the number only increased among 16-24 year olds.
Yet despite this, the report found only a minority of employers currently promote their firm’s values or purpose when advertising roles or in interviews. Some 36 per cent of HR and recruiting professionals even admitted values were missing from their corporate website.
“The problem could stem from a knowledge gap – with one in ten HR and recruiting professionals admitting that they are unable to articulate their own company’s values in the first place,” the research explained. “Some one in five respondents also claimed their company’s HR and marketing functions don’t work well together – or at all – to promote the company’s employer brand externally.”
Essentially, UK bosses risk falling into a values vacuum by not being clear on what ther filrms stand for or believe in – a sentiment Dan Dackombe, director of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, agreed with. He explained that today’s professionals were more informed and aware of the culture and purpose of potential employers, and are increasingly making career decisions based on these factors.
“Simple things like making sure your company values are reflected in job ads and mentioned in interviews can help employers get noticed and make the difference when it comes to winning the best talent,” he said.
Jeroen Wels, VP of organisation and talent for Unilever, also commented: “Our experience recruiting top talent echoes LinkedIn’s findings. We invest a lot of time and energy in making sure we communicate our values effectively and authentically so that potential new hires know what Unilever stands for, including our purpose, culture and principles.
“Through a robust content strategy we have been able to give a real insight into life at Unilever. Having an authentic employer brand which engages with our current and future employees is one of the key ways we can attract and retain top talent.”
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