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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Business values are not being upheld, research finds

Employers are not doing enough to ensure their business values are being upheld, according to new research by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

According to a report launched today on the first day of the CIPD's annual conference and exhibition, a mere 33 per cent of those surveyed said that individuals were pulled up for consistent rule breaking. Astonishingly, 40 per cent of employees reported that workers whose behaviour consistently goes against the values of the organisations they work for are also rewarded or promoted.

The findings revealed that just more than half (52 per cent) of the 2,000 employees surveyed for the latest CIPD Employee Outlook report agreed that their organisation's value positively influence behaviour at work.

The top reason cited by employees who don't believe values have an impact on people's behaviours and decisions in the private sector is that profit is placed ahead of organisational values. The most cited reason by those in the public sector is that there is one rule for senior managers and one rule for everyone else, highlighting the importance of consistency and accountability at all levels within the organisation.

The research suggests that communication of values is also a problem as less than a third (29 per cent) of employees say they are aware of the values of the organisation they work for to a great extent. Businesses are also failing to match their values to those of their workforce with just six in 10 (58 per cent) of employees reporting that their personal values match those of the organisations they work for.

Despite these findings most employees recognise the significance of organisational values, with almost three quarters (73 per cent) stating that it is important for organisations to have defined values which govern employee behaviour. The research suggests that there is currently a disconnect between what employees expect and the way that values are currently embedded and upheld by business leaders.

Peter Cheese, CEO at the CIPD, said: "In the wake of the banking crisis and other corporate scandals, now more than ever, organisational values should be at the forefront of business leaders' minds. At the heart of an organisation's culture has to be a set of agreed values that resonate with employees at all levels from the board to the front line in order to provide a template for the behaviours and standards expected.

"Employers must also demonstrate that failure to act in accordance with the organisation's defined values has real consequences. Unless business leaders and HR are prepared to take a stand and ensure that their organisational values are seen to make a difference and are worth more than a passing reference in the company report or on the intranet, then they will lose the trust and confidence of staff."


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