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Great post, Ann. This topic of making your values valuable -- central to how everyone in the organization approaches their work -- is the basis for all of our strategic employee recognition recommendations. One of the greatest initial challenges with company values is taking them off that plaque on the wall and making them real in the hearts and minds of the employees so that their daily work is clearly driven by the values. That's why we so strongly advocate structuring a recognition program so that employees are encouraged to recognize each other (as well as top down) for demonstrating the company values in contribution to achieving group/team/company objectives.

Such positive reinforcement encourages the employee to repeat those desired behaviors/actions and makes colleagues more adept at seeing those values in action -- truly making them real in every day work.

What happens if you don't? Deviant behavior. This approach ensures employees who, for example, increase productivity but do so by harming the environment will not be rewarded for their efforts. Values-based recognition is the key to ensuring employees display the right behaviors in achieving the company goals.

I wrote more on this topic (including research from Singapore Management University on deviant behavior in the workplace) here:


Thanks for the comment - and for pointing us to the SMU research. Interesting look at the role that self-esteem plays in workplace behavior.

Great post Ann! I think the most important thing you hit on is that for values to matter they must be applied equally at all levels of the organization. There is nothing more frustrating to employees than seeing inconsistency in how values and norms are applied!

I've shared you post with my readers in my weekly Rainmaker top five blog picks of the week (found here: http://www.maximizepossibility.com/employee_retention/2010/06/the-rainmaker.html) to challenge them to question if their values are actually adding value.

Be well!

Thanks, Chris - always cool to be part of the Rainmaker top five!

excellent post! i was inspired on your post. thanks! i'm gonna share this with my friends too. i'm sure they gonna love this too. :D

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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