Personal value alignment with company values and cultural fitness plays a pivotal role in shaping an individual’s career satisfaction and effectiveness within an organization. These core principles guide an individual’s behavior and decision-making, significantly influencing their professional life.
This article explores the intricate relationship between personal and organizational values and cultural fitness, emphasizing how this synergy can foster a positive and productive work environment.
What Are Personal Values?
Have you considered what drives your decisions, shapes your beliefs, and defines your actions? These are your values, deeply ingrained principles that guide our behavior and choices.
These values act as a moral compass, influencing decisions and behaviors in the personal and professional sides of our lives. They reflect our priorities, aspirations, and beliefs, guiding us to know what is right or wrong. For instance, a person who values integrity would practice honesty and good ethical behavior in their personal and work lives.
While specific values may vary from person to person, the significance lies in how these values align and contribute to the broader organizational culture.
The Science Behind Personal Values
Developing personal core values is a complex and ongoing process influenced by various factors, starting with upbringing, experiences, education, and personal reflection. These values are not static—they evolve.
Psychological theories, like those of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, emphasize the role of personal growth and self-actualization in shaping our values. As we evolve, our values can also change, and this is often a reflection of our current life stage and experiences.
In other words, you can learn or unlearn core values, letting go of outdated or ineffective mental models, habits, behaviors, assumptions, biases, or attitudes and replacing them with new ones that better align with your growth and self-realization.
The Intersection of Personal and Organizational Values
Organizational values are the core principles that guide an organization’s actions and decisions. These reflect the company’s mission, vision, and goals, serving as a framework for creating a cohesive and productive work environment.
When you join a company, your values interact with the company’s values and contribute to the overall culture of the company. If your values align, you become culturally fit, contributing to a cohesive workplace where employees share common goals, communicate seamlessly, and collaborate effectively.
This synergy creates a ripple effect on the overall organizational productivity and financial performance. Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report indicates that businesses with highly engaged teams show 23 percent greater profitability.¹
However, aligning personal and organizational values isn’t only about what the company can gain. Several studies have shown the connection between alignment and improved engagement, satisfaction, and general well-being.
Benefits of Personal Value Alignment
According to a survey by PwC, employees who feel connected to their company’s purpose are 53 percent more satisfied with their jobs.² This sense of belonging and alignment can lead to:
1. Improved Well-being and Reduced Stress
A survey by the American Psychological Association revealed that working in an environment aligned with one’s values can significantly reduce work-related stress and improve overall well-being.³ Employees who experience this alignment are less likely to suffer from burnout and are more resilient in workplace challenges.
2. Better Work-Life Integration
Employees find it easier to integrate their work and personal lives when personal and organizational values align. This can lead to better work-life balance, as the values that guide their personal lives don’t conflict with their professional environment.
For instance, a company valuing family and personal time may offer more flexible working arrangements, which aligns with an employee’s value of family time.
3. Enhanced Personal and Professional Growth
Companies that share their employees’ values often provide more personal and professional development opportunities, leading to a more fulfilling career path and long-term career satisfaction.
4. Greater Empowerment and Autonomy
Aligned values can lead to greater empowerment and autonomy at work. You’re more likely to be trusted to make decisions when your core values align with the company’s. This empowerment can lead to higher job satisfaction and a sense of control over your work.
Related article: What Makes a Job Good? 5 Facets of Job Satisfaction
Strategies for Aligning Your Values with Organizational Values
Aligning your values with your employer starts at the beginning. It would be challenging to align your aspirations in the middle of your career if the company prioritizes other things. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean your values and the company’s will contradict each other.
In case you’re looking for a next employer, here are actionable tips you can apply in finding the right employer:
1. Discover and Prioritize Your Core Values
Before embarking on your job search, take some time for self-reflection. This is your opportunity to delve deep into what truly matters to you. Consider journaling or mind mapping to bring clarity to your core values. Once you have identified them, prioritize these values. Think about which ones are non-negotiable for you in a professional setting.
2. Research Company Cultures
When it comes to understanding a company’s culture, look beyond. Read employee testimonials, attend events hosted by the company, or engage with its current employees on professional networks. Analyze the company’s mission statements and core values critically.
- Do they seem authentic?
- Do they resonate with your core values?
- Is it something you want in your career?
3. View the Interview as a Two-Way Street
Remember, an interview is as much about you assessing the company as it is about them evaluating you. Prepare a list of insightful questions that can reveal how deeply the company’s values are embedded in its decision-making process. For instance, ask for specific examples of how the company’s values have influenced major decisions.
4. Leverage Your Professional Network
Your professional network provides valuable insights into a company’s culture. Reach out to current or past employees and ask about their experiences. This first-hand information can be invaluable in determining if a company is the right fit for you.
5. Stay True to Yourself While Adapting
Your values might evolve, and that’s perfectly okay. Make it a habit to periodically reassess your values. Similarly, keep an eye on changes within the companies you’re interested in. Are they moving in a direction that aligns with your evolving values?
6. Trust Your Gut
Sometimes, it’s not about the data or the information you gather but about how a company makes you feel. Trust your intuition. If something feels off, it probably is. Likewise, if a company feels like a good fit, it might just be.
7. Seek Outside Perspectives
If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to seek advice from mentors, previous colleagues, managers, or career coaches. They can provide an objective perspective and help you navigate the complexities of aligning your values with a company’s culture.
8. Find Balance
It’s crucial to balance your aspirations with the realities of the job market. While you may seek perfect alignment, sometimes it’s about finding the best possible fit within the available opportunities. Stay open to possibilities, and you might find a company that aligns with your values more than you initially thought.
FIND YOUR PERFECT JOB MATCH WITH GALT FOUNDATION
As you navigate the complex journey of aligning your values with a company’s culture, remember you don’t have to do it alone. Galt Foundation connects candidates like you with companies where you’ll fit in and thrive.
Our expert team understands the importance of value alignment and is dedicated to finding you a role that resonates with your core principles. Let us ease your search and guide you toward a fulfilling career path that aligns with who you are.
Feel free to reach out to us today.
1. Pendell, Ryan. “Employee Engagement Strategies: Fixing the World’s $8.8 Trillion Problem.” Gallup, 11 Sep. 2023, www.gallup.com/world-trillion-workplace-problem.
2. “Our research on the connection between strategic purpose and motivation.” Strategy & Part of the PwC Network, www.strategyand.pwc.com/capabilities-driven-strategy/approach/research-motivation. 14 Nov. 2023.
3. “2023 Work in America Survey Workplaces as engines of psychological health and well-being.” American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/2023-workplace-health-well-being. 14 Nov. 2023.