Independence in the workplace

A  study by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) (reported by Meghan Casserly in in December, 2011) found that the top drivers for employee retention for 2012 are:
1.Job-Interest Alignment
2.Manager Quality
3.Coworker Quality
4.People Management
6.Collegial Work Environment

Shocking to many executives is that compensation is not currently among these drivers of employee retention. The CEB concluded that employee “priorities have shifted away from the dollars and cents of paychecks and toward more intangible elements of work.”

To me, these “intangible elements” actually are personal values, which we all bring into the workplace simply because we’re human, and humans are value-driven entities. Organization development researchers Ken Hultman and Bill Gellermann say there are four categories of personal and social needs brought by individuals to a group:
1.mastery (personal competence)
2.a sense of contribution (social competence)
3.self-respect (personal integrity
4.acceptance (social integrity).

They assert that all four categories of personal and social needs of individuals must be met by organizations (and the groups within them) in order to be effective. So how do we get our individual values addressed by our companies, teams, departments, task forces, Boards, families, friends, and other groups to which we belong? It’s actually up to us.

As individuals in groups,we must constantly check the following (according to Hultman and Gellermann):
•That our values are viable in the context of the group
• That we have alignment with our values on the intrapersonal and interpersonal levels
•That we address discrepancies between the values we want, and the values we’re actually demonstrating
•That authenticity is consistent (the degree to which values are expressed in a genuine and sincere manner)
•That we repair any rifts in this alignment.

The fields of OD, communication, management, psychology and others offers tips and techniques for achieving the above. Check back for those in Designing Communication. In the meantime, what are your ideas for being in alignment from a values standpoint? Would love to hear!


Source: Hultman, K., & Gellermann, B. (2002). Balancing individual and organizational values: Walking the tightrope to success. (pp. 97-135). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

This was a re-post from October, 2012 by Jaya K Bohlmann


About Jaya Koilpillai Bohlmann
Global corporate communication, business, and organization behavior executive; author. My blog, DesigningCommunication, offers inspiration, insight, and tips for all professionals who want to express themselves effectively, and lead with integrity.

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