Organisational values guide everything you do at work
- Guide staff behaviour, as well as strategic and operational decisions
- Provide a solid foundation for your employment policies, and “fill the gaps” where policies are silent
- Over time, improve the organisation’s ethical character as expressed in its operations and culture
- Demonstrate integrity and accountability to external stakeholders
- Set the organisation apart from its competitors
- Reduce risk of inappropriate behaviour
- Strengthen the employment value proposition
Every organisation preferences some values over others. A university might value intellectual rigour, independence and the pursuit of knowledge. By comparison, a listed telecommunications company would prefer customer service, network reliability, and profit. For this reason, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all Code of Ethics.
Employees often rate the company’s “vision, culture and values” as the most important factor in determining how they perceive their employer. Research also indicates that companies which demonstrate a coherent set of ethical principles are more likely to be profitable and stand the test of time.
Having clarity in your values will also help your organisation attract the right people (employees, customers, collaborators) and increase their loyalty, focus, trust and cooperation.