Two fifths of employees don’t believe organisational values are worth the paper they are written on. In the public sector, the blame is laid at senior managers who staff claim, have one rule for themselves and one rule for others.
This finding comes from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s Employee Outlook survey.
The research suggests that communication of values is also a problem as less than a third (29%) of employees say they are aware of the values of the organisation they work for to a great extent. Organisation are also failing to match their values to those of their workforce with just 6 in 10 (58%) of employees reporting that their personal values match those of the organisations they work for.
Some 40% of employees report that individuals whose behaviour consistently goes against the values of the organisations they work for are either left unpunished or are rewarded or promoted. Only a third (33%) of those asked said that individuals were reprimanded for consistent rule breaking, indicating that employers are not doing enough to ensure that their values are being upheld.
Despite these findings most employees recognise the significance of organisational values, with almost three quarters (73%) 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 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 the minds of leaders. 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 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 annual report or on the intranet, then they will lose the trust and confidence of staff.”