Home' HR Monthly : May 2018 Contents May 2018 HRM magazine 35
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Heart and Soul
What matters to you and what matters to the business should,
ideally, be in alignment. Can playing cards help?
BY AMANDA WOODARD
VALUES CARDS FROM
THE LANGLEY GROUP
Our values are beliefs we
hold as precious to us. They
are a reference point for what
we believe is good, right
and important and act as a
compass that determines our
attitudes and behaviours.
Values help us in our daily life to make
choices and influence how we react and interact
with others and situations.
Organisations talk about the values they hold
dear as well, and seek employees who broadly
“share their values”.
The fact is that in the complexities of our
working lives our values are often compromised
by circumstances or events and we do things
that don’t feel right. Think of employees in the
banking sector who were driven to sell products
they knew weren’t good for their customers.
When you act contrary to the values you
hold, you feel uncomfortable at least; stressed,
an xious and depressed at worst. So being able
to live in harmony with ou r values, assists us
in making good decisions, and makes us feel
grounded and happy. At a team or even at an
organisational level, shared values help keep
all employees and stakeholders focused on
achieving their individual outcomes.
Organisations are realising how positive
psychology can lead to exceptional
performance. So the focus has grown around
getting individuals to identify their values
The team at HRM road-tested one set of
values cards on the market to understand more.
Each of the 150 cards has a different word
on it which represents a value. They are
colour- coded with six areas of values:
professional; emotional; motivational links
and character strengths.
The HRM team decided to select six cards
each, one from each category, that mat tered
most to us. In an ‘in confidence’ environment,
we then wrote these up on a whiteboard under
each person’s name. We went around the
group talking about why we had chosen that
particular value in the category, and what it
meant to us as individuals.
We then chose six cards we thought should be
most important to our employer, and compared
them to our individual values. It certainly forced
us to ref lect and provoked lively discussion.
The cards can also be used for inspiration
by asking employees to brainstorm values they
think should drive the business. A discussion of
values in a team setting can uncover a shared
psychological contract and build collaboration.
If you’re working as an HR coach or
facilitating a training session, there are useful
questions on the back of each card related to the
value. For example: How does this value show in
your behaviour? What can you do today to live
These are designed to help bring the values to
life – important if you are trying to embed a new
culture or change the way things have been done
for ages, or establish behaviours in line with
There are tips on how to run sessions for
individuals or teams, and ideas for ‘games’ you
can play which not only help to clarify values,
but act as great icebreakers among and across
teams who don’t know each other well and need
to work together more effectively. •••
SHOP CLASS AS
AN INQUIRY INTO THE
VALUE OF WORK
BY MATTHEW B. CRAWFORD
PENGUIN PRESS, 2010 $20
Crawford led a prestigious think
tank in Washington. But in a few
months he became dissatisfied with the abstract
nature of his work and the internal politics that
seemed more important than any results. He left
and opened a vintage motorcycle repair shop.
getAbstract recommends these essays to those
whose day job doesn’t satisfy their soul, or who
would rather be in a workshop than at a desk.
GIVING VOICE TO
HOW TO SPEAK YOUR
MIND WHEN YOU KNOW
BY MARY C. GENTILE,
YALE UP, 2010 $30
Most people know the difference
between right and wrong, but far fewer have the
courage to act on their convictions. Researcher
Mary C. Gentile lucidly outlines and discusses
the fundamentals of the Giving Voice to Values
(GVV) curriculum she launched.
This ethics-based course of study is now
part of more than 140 college-level business
education programs worldwide. If you’ve
ever kept silent despite your better
judgment, GVV strategies can help you
develop the skills and tools you need to
speak up and take action. •••
23/4/18 4:49 pm
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