We put together a compilation of recent articles, on core values, that we find to be relevant to organizations, leadership, and team functioning.

These articles carry similar themes that we have found to be useful and we hope you’ll benefit from learning from them as well.

Crisis, Covid and Core Values

Overlapping crisis; health, economic, environmental, and social has been an unavoidable theme that everyone, to varying extents, has been experiencing this year. In many ways, crisis shows us who we really are and what is important to us, as individuals and as organizations.

We no longer can pretend, cloak, or hide behind just our words. In crisis mode, the article, “A Guide to Leading With Values“, states that “companies are forced to make difficult decisions [and] true priorities are shown” by their stated core values translating into action (or in-action). 

In other words, crisis reveals what is most important to our companies by what they actually put into action or do. 

In “Prioritizing Purpose in a Pandemic”, Emotional Intelligence expert, Daniel Goleman asks a similar question during this pandemic season, ‘what values are companies prioritizing?’

The values seen through our company actions is an important consideration, as it is easy to focus on the urgent and important in crisis such as surviving, where perhaps some other stated purposes or principles fall to the wayside.

According to a recent survey quoted in Goleman’s article, “75% of thriving employees say their company has a strong sense of purpose that resonates with their own core values. 

If thriving employees matters to company health, and employees are thriving at least in part because of shared personal and company values, it increases the stakes of how companies put into action what is important to them.

McKinsey & Company’s article suggests 10 actions for 2020 to line up our actions with our stated values, with one of those actions being “make[ing] purpose part of everything”.

Driving individuals to connect to their individual purpose is anchoring as we all face unprecedented changes and uncertainty. 

You may be tempted to think that individual “life purpose” has nothing to do with corporate survival or thriving employees, but individual purpose (which sits on the foundation of our values) is a “guidepost” that helps people to navigate with resilience and higher levels of recovery. 

Values, Engaged and Thriving Employees

Engaged and thriving employees produce better outcomes and report lower risks to the company according this recent Gallup poll.

If most thriving employees are engaged at least partly because of shared personal and company core values, this means that companies cannot afford to ignore what their engaged employees most resonate with. 

If the focus remains just on survival as a company, what are the long-term impacts on our employees and their engagement?

Perhaps we can gain some insight on that question for our organizations by narrowing the focus down to the individuals within an organization. This article by Science Journalist Tara Haelle asks the question, “how do we adjust to an ever-changing situation where the ‘new normal’ is indefinite uncertainty?”

Survival mode, called “surge capacity” in the article, can only take us so far. Haelle gives some great insight and ideas to practice personally to build into our personal “resilience bank accounts”.

The same idea can also apply to our companies, as our companies are made up of the most important asset; people.

Our “surge capacity” or focus on survival only takes us so far before we run out of steam. Surge capacities need to be renewed and require a different type of coping in a crisis that is ongoing rather than acute. 

Our company values have been put to the fire this year. For example; a company stated before the pandemic that caring for the environment was important, they “can expect to continue to be held to task about how deeply they value the environment”, especially in crisis (Goleman article).

It is not easy to show this by actions if survival of our organization is at stake. Perhaps values will need new processes, but true priorities are shown under pressure. 

Other company actions have proven that they value employees by providing Covid19 bonuses, proactively supporting needs or assisting with elder or childcare.

The Prophet article states that something as simple as sincere acknowledgement can help employees feel respected and cared for during ongoing uncertainty.

Are our stated values seen by our actions in crisis?

Actions during crisis will either continue to build trust or diminish it. 

Our actions as leaders and as organizations are showing our employees what is important.

And since thriving employees align their core personal values with company values, it is important to consider that our actions right now during this unprecedented uncertainty have lasting impact on the levels of engagement, trust, and well-being of our employees.

If our employee engagement, trust levels, and well-being aren’t high, then the health of our organizations or at the very least our ability to thrive as an organization is also in jeopardy.