In today’s increasingly conscious and purpose-driven society, the alignment of personal values and corporate values has gained significant importance. Individuals seek meaning and fulfilment not only in their personal lives but also in their professional endeavours. When personal values align with corporate values, it creates a harmonious environment that fosters employee engagement, satisfaction, and organisational success.
This alignment comes into play in two ways when you start a new role as a finance leader;
- Before you agree to join the new organisation, you must be sure there is a sufficient fit between personal and corporate values. If there isn’t, you may regret taking the appointment sometime in the future.
- During your first 100 days you will need to create a vision for finance and a blueprint for your future finance function. Having the right team values and having these align to company values will be crucial.
This week’s newsletter explores the significance of aligning personal and corporate values and provides practical steps to achieve this alignment.
What are values?
Understanding Personal Values: Personal values are the principles, beliefs, and qualities that guide an individual’s decisions, actions, and priorities. They are deeply rooted in an individual’s identity and shape their perception of what is important and meaningful in life. Personal values can encompass a wide range of aspects, such as integrity, authenticity, compassion, growth, balance, and social responsibility.
The Importance of Corporate Values: Corporate values are the guiding principles that define an organisation’s culture, behaviour, and decision-making. They reflect the organisation’s mission, vision, and desired impact on the world. Corporate values set the tone for how employees, customers, and stakeholders interact with each other. When corporate values are well-defined and aligned with the values of its employees, it fosters a sense of purpose, belonging, and shared commitment.
Benefits of Aligning Personal and Corporate Values:
It is a subject central to two episodes of the GrowCFO Show.
In episode 65, Felix Velarde talked about the need for clear corporate values to build the company strategy. These values should be based on the shared values of the team. Felix clearly states that the company’s A players believe in these values, and the C players don’t.
In episode 130, Richard Nugent talked to me about aligning strategy and culture. The leadership’s job is to ensure a commonly understood strategy across all teams backed by a strong culture. We talked about the surprisingly high number of times this is different.
There are a number of benefits:
- Enhanced Motivation and Engagement: When personal values align with corporate values, individuals feel a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in their work. This alignment fuels intrinsic motivation and leads to higher levels of engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction.
- Improved Well-being and Fulfillment: When individuals can express their authentic selves at work and live in alignment with their values, it contributes to their overall well-being and sense of fulfilment. They experience a sense of congruence between their personal and professional lives, leading to reduced stress and increased happiness.
- More robust Organizational Culture: When personal values align with corporate values, it strengthens the organisational culture. A shared set of values creates a cohesive and inclusive work environment where employees feel connected, respected, and supported. This, in turn, attracts and retains top talent.
- Ethical Decision-Making: Aligning personal and corporate values provides a moral compass for decision-making. When employees’ personal values align with the organization’s ethical standards, they are more likely to make principled choices, act with integrity, and uphold the organization’s reputation.
But what can you do to get it right?
Before you agree to take the role, you should:
- Reflect on Personal Values: Take time to identify and clarify your personal values. Consider what is truly important to you, what motivates you, and what brings you a sense of fulfilment. Reflect on your beliefs, passions, and aspirations. You should do this to understand your own values first. Later you may suggest a similar exercise is done by each of your team members.
- Understand Corporate Values: Research and understand the core values of your organisation. Examine the organisation’s mission, vision, and culture. Review the values articulated by the leadership and explore how they are demonstrated in day-to-day operations.
- Identify Overlaps and Gaps: Compare your personal values with the corporate values. Identify areas of alignment and areas where there might be gaps. Reflect on whether the organisation’s values resonate with your own and determine the significance of these alignments or gaps.
Once you have taken the role and you are in your first 100 days
- Seek Opportunities for Alignment: Look for ways to align your values with the rest of your team. Find out what values the rest of your team has, and reflect on what the team’s values should be as a group.
- Be an Advocate for Change: If you identify significant misalignments between your values, the team’s values and the organisation’s values, consider being an advocate for change. Engage in constructive dialogue, offer suggestions, and collaborate with like-minded individuals to influence and shape the organisational culture.
- Continuous Reflection and Adaptation: Personal values, team values and corporate values can evolve over time. Please reflect on your personal values and reassess how they align with the evolving corporate values. Be open to adapting and learning from the experience, and be willing to revisit your alignment as needed.
What are your personal values?
Determining your personal values is an introspective process that involves reflection and self-discovery. Here are some steps to help you identify your personal values:
- Self-reflection: Take some time to reflect on your life experiences, beliefs, and what matters most to you. Consider moments when you felt happiest, fulfilled, or proud. Think about the principles and qualities that guided your actions during those times.
- Identify core areas of life: Break down your life into different areas, such as career, relationships, health, spirituality, personal growth, and community. Reflect on what is important to you in each of these areas. For example, in your career, you might value creativity, autonomy, or helping others.
- Prioritise your values: Once you have identified a list of potential values, prioritise them based on their importance to you. Consider what values you would be unwilling to compromise on and which ones are essential for your sense of fulfilment and well-being.
- Explore external influences: Reflect on the people, books, or role models who have influenced you. Consider the values they embody and whether any resonate with you. This can provide additional insight into your own values.
- Test your values: Live your life in alignment with your identified values and see how it feels. Pay attention to moments when you feel in harmony with your values or when you experience a sense of conflict. This process of experimentation and reflection will help refine your understanding of your personal values.
- Review and revise: Personal values can evolve over time as you gain new experiences and perspectives. Regularly review and reassess your values to ensure they still align with who you are and what you want from life.
Remember, determining your values is a deeply personal and ongoing process. Gaining clarity may take time and self-reflection, so be patient with yourself.
You can share this process with other team members so that they have a clear idea of their values before coming together to figure out what the team’s shared values are.
Aligning personal and corporate values creates a powerful synergy that benefits individuals and organisations. It enhances employee motivation, engagement, and well-being while contributing to a solid, purpose-driven organisational culture. Individuals can find fulfilment and success in their professional lives by consciously exploring and aligning personal and corporate values. At the same time, organisations can cultivate an environment that attracts and retains top talent and achieves sustainable growth.