image Shared Values in the Workplace

Shared Values in the Workplace

While business overall has been booming in the United States, on the individual level, that’s not quite the case. About 2.5 million Americans quit their jobs in May 2014, a number which increased by 300,000 from the previous year. Much of this may be because employees aren’t feeling valued.

So, what can you do to increase employee recognition and retention? One interesting method is shared values, which can help your employee feel as though they’re part of a caring family.

What Are Shared Values?

Shared values are any principles that both a company and its employees might have in common. For example, having a positive attitude or being reliable are two values that might be shared.

When an employer and an employee both have these same qualities, it makes things go so much smoother. The employee will feel engaged at work and feel like a vital part of the company; meanwhile, the company will be more productive and earn a greater profit because of the employees’ extra efforts.

That’s why having someone that doesn’t share your values can be so harmful to your organization. They won’t work their hardest or go the extra mile; instead, they’ll do the bare minimum until they can move on to a new position.

How to Define Your Values

That being said, if an employee has no idea what your company values are, how can you fault them for not wanting to try 100 percent? The first step you’ll need to take in developing a shared values position is identifying your values.

If you have a mission statement, this should already be part of it. If not, try asking yourself and your top employees the following questions:

  • What does my organization care about most?
  • What do I want the tone for my company culture to be?
  • How do I want my team to make our values come to life?
  • How can I encourage my team to live these values every day?

Once you’ve established some clear-cut values, make sure your workers know about them. Send them out in a corporate email, list them on your website, and add them to your employee handbook.

Finding Employees That Fit These Values

So now that you have values, you need to find employees that share them. In addition to reviewing educational and professional experiences in interviews, you should also take this time to ask a person about their values.

For example, you may ask the interviewee to imagine a scenario where they have to make a specific choice. Tailor the question so that one answer reflects your values while the other doesn’t. If they make the right decision, then they might be a good fit for your crew.

Shared values in the workplace can make or break your organization, so be sure to define yours and then look for employees who are on the same page.

Works Cited

Edington, Dee, and Deborah McKeever. “Shared Values: The Next Step in Corporate Wellness.” Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM, 10 Sept. 2014:

“Understanding Workplace Values: How to Find People Who Fit Your Organization’s Culture.” MindTools. Accessed 18 March 2019: