Values Go Both Ways

I’m pretty obsessed in the work world about companies having and living a set of heart-felt, positive values. And I devote most of my work to helping companies succeed in a way that is aligned with those values.

So I’m delighted to see the increasing focus on what company values mean to its employees, and how it treats them. Too right!

But less is said about the values that people need to demonstrate to the company that employs them. And that to me makes it a very asymmetrical relationship.

Abusive companies and their leaders don’t deserve success. Period.

But neither does a team member who doesn’t have a solid work ethic, or creates a bad atmosphere through negativity, or expects to be handed everything on a plate. Give work the bare minimum, and expect the bare minimum back.

So if you’re a founder or owner or leader in your organisation, you *do* have a responsibility to make it a company that leads with values. But you also have the right to expect your team to live those values and to demonstrate a work ethic. And if you are employed by a company, you have a responsibility to show up, to work hard while you’re there (which by the way, doesn’t mean joylessly!), and to work in line with its values if you want to progress.

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