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Posted By Rowan O'Grady, President, Hays Canada, on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013
I am pleased to announce that we have recently launched our sixth edition of the Hays Journal. Over the coming weeks I'll be providing my insight into some of the articles and stories shared in this issue, and talk about how the information applies to our local markets in Canada.
For my first post, I want to focus on the 'Value of Values' article.
Corporate values are powerful business assets, however if not managed appropriately there can be a cost on both the business and brand. Values as we know provide organizations with behavioural guidance. They explain what the culture is about and remind staff of the preferred way of achieving outcomes. At Hays we have four very clear and defined values - we are ambitious, passionate about people, inquisitive, and my personal favourite, experts. These four values transcend through everything we do, and are essential to the way we work. The difficulty of course is ensuring the values are exemplified at all levels of staff at all times. Executives need to embody the values of their organization and 'walk the talk', particularly at a time when consumers are more discerning than ever about business ethics and social responsibility. A good and unfortunate example of a business that achieved much criticism of their values falling short was the Enron scandal in 2001. As explained in the Journal, "... Enron's corporate value statement read like that of an irreproachably ethical organization...", and it went on to note that Enron's values included 'encourages teamwork' and 'has an obligation to communicate', "...had Enron executives adhered to their vision and values statement, its shareholders could have avoided losses of some US $74 billion."
We recently launched what we call our 'What People Want Guide', a look at what is important to Canadian professionals decisions on whether to accept a job offer or to stay with a company. What we learned was that when evaluating whether to stay with their current employer, company culture moved up considerably in terms of importance, compared to when deciding whether to accept a job offer. Over 20% of ones decision is based on the culture of a company, nearly the same as ones own career growth. A businesses company culture is a direct result of the values that the company embodies. If a business does not either have defined business values or does not embody their values throughout the business, then employers could be exposed to retention risks. Candidates in today want to ensure that what was sold to them, is in fact true, resulting in company values being an integral component to retention strategies in today's competitive job market.