Allen Woo discusses how to align employees’ values with those of the company

In all organizations, one of the most important challenges to be faced is management by values and aligning employees with the company. Although the approach may seem simple, the way to achieve it is not. Managers must realize that this alignment is insufficient, despite the good intentions and efforts made. It is important to agree on the objective difficulties and costs both from the management point of view and the cost that this type of management has entailed. Allen Woo, an expert in motivational management and personal development, discusses different ways to ensure that the company’s ideals and values are followed to the letter by its employees.

Studies and analyses carried out by the expert show that 37% of the value of a strategy is lost due to execution problems, and almost 80% of the employees do not consider themselves neither sufficiently motivated nor adequately aligned with the organization’s objectives. These results highlight that adequate alignment is capable of achieving productivity increases of 3%. This is truly remarkable in economic terms. “It’s up to the HR teams to work this area and achieve results,” suggests Woo.

The most important thing is that the formulation of the corporate mission is coherent, clear, and relatively stable. This formulation should include fundamental values, beyond the banal or generic, such as quality or customer satisfaction. These do not represent a mission because, if they did, all companies would have the same one.

The concept of mission is often not very clear, and organizations must make an effort to detail it. Formulating and explaining a mission, or in other words, a long-term objective to be achieved, is more than just a list of five or six sentences that are placed on the front page of our internal newsletters. Implementing it means that all management actions must be aligned with it.

Woo points out, “When we talk about corporate values, we must refer to the strategy that guides the direction of the company and motivates the actions of its employees in different instances, functions, and hierarchical levels.”

Several premises must be considered concerning management by corporate values, which, given their strategic relevance, emotional impact, normative function, and collective influence, make up a genetic code of the social system, which we know as a company.

Personal values must be congruent with business values. When personal values show correspondence with corporate values that are systematically communicated, known, and shared, it will be easier for individual actions induced by the corporate culture to be finally manifested and coordinated to support the achievement of operational, market, and business goals, necessary to justify the long-term viability of the company, facing such a changing and competitive business environment like the current one.

“When synergy operates between individual action and the regulatory framework that promotes and justifies it, committed employees will begin to emerge with a company they feel like their own,” Woo explains. “These are people whose contribution, involvement, and commitment are enhanced by their identification with corporate values that reinforce their pride and sense of belonging to the organization.”

In companies aware of the importance of promoting value-based management, it is not enough to select the people who will join the company based on their technical skills and competency profile. It is key to provide minimum guarantees that individual values will be congruent and compatible with corporate values.

“Business values are inherent to the culture of the organization, and of necessary attention for any employee of the company,” Woo asserts. “It is key to ensure the necessary alignment between the performance evaluation instruments and the execution of the business strategy. To this end, corporate values are applied as benchmarks, to promote a solid model of corporate citizenship.”

Organizations may have employees who express doubts about the company’s mission, vision, and values and do not have even a minimal knowledge of the values that should justify, regulate and stimulate their participation in the company. This is how managers, leaders, and middle managers gain credibility, build spaces of influence, and from there, develop a rich and expressive professional relationship with their collaborators, fundamentally based on mutual trust and respect.