According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a value (val·ue | \ ˈval-(ˌ)yü) is a something, such as a principle or quality, that is intrinsically desirable. As such, values may differ depending on the perspective in which they are viewed or the desired attribute of its context, such as human values, material values, organizational values, social values, etc.
In a recent training session with a client and their team, Khnuma Simmonds and I challenged them to stretch their thinking on ways that team members can honor their individual values while aligning them with the organizational values and those of their clients (collective values). While the importance placed on a value tends to be more steadfast, the expression of the value should be nimble enough to allow for the infusion and inclusion of another's values.
Therein, lies a conundrum for many team members, their teams, and organizations. After all, isn't it also an underlying contributor to the "Great Resignation" that is being experienced in organizations today? Value alignment requires clear articulation of what the value looks like, sounds like, and feels like for each individual while having an understanding of how it shapes the organizational culture, one's psychological safety, and expression in the collective space.
From our client training, the resounding Top 3 values communicated by their team were: 1. Respect; 2. Honesty; and 3. Concern for Others. As we took a deep dive into each value, it became clear that "respect" for one may not be respect for another. Additionally, what is perceived as being "honest" to one may not be taken as such by another. And, how a concern is expressed for one is not how another would like the concern to be expressed. Essentially, each team members' cultural dimensions from upbringings, age, ethnicity, gender, personalities, and others played a role in how they viewed each value as well as the importance and way of expression for each within the organization.
What are your top 3 values? How have you aligned your individual values with those of your team or organization?