Workers whose behaviour continually goes against their organisation’s values often don’t face punishment, and are even rewarded or promoted, according to new research from CIPD.
In the latest Employee Outlook survey, such incidents were found to have happened in the workplaces of four out of 10 respondents. Only one-third said that individuals were reprimanded for consistent rule-breaking.
Slightly more than half (52%) said their organisation’s values positively influenced their behaviour at work, while only 29% of employees said that they were fully aware of their organisation’s values.
For those who said their organisation’s values did not impact them, the top reason cited among private-sector workers was the emphasis on profit over those values. In the public sector, the most cited explanation was the belief that there was “one rule for senior managers and one rule for everyone else”.
Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, explained: “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.”
He added that employers must also demonstrate that failure to act in accordance with the organisation’s defined values has real consequences.
If business leaders and HR are not prepared to make a stand and ensure that their organisational values are worth more than a passing reference, they will lose the trust of staff, warned Cheese.
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