By Rosemund Warrington Assistant Executive Director, HR & ODE Specialist O rganisations comprise individuals with distinct ideas, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions that collectively constitute their values. Values are traits or qualities that represent an individual’s highest priorities and the forces that drive them. According to Mabey et al (1998, p.480), “Values focus on why people behave as they do.” A value system plays an important role in any organisation and provides the guiding principles that are most important to employees regarding the way they work, whether they are experienced employees or new entrants. In a successful workplace environment, work ethics and great workplace values are essential. For students transitioning from the classroom to the workplace, there is always an anticipation of greater freedom as well as a steady source of income. However, for many it is a huge transition from college life to becoming a working professional. For those who have not held a formal job before, they may not be fully prepared for the challenges while transitioning into the world of work. Values form an important part of an individual, and are needed in every sphere of life, particularly so in the public sector, because public officers are a direct representation of these values to the public whom they serve. A Values mindset is at the core of citizencentricity. It is with this in mind that CARICAD developed a generalised Values-based framework to raise awareness of values employers look for in new hires and to encourage good behaviour and habits in the workplace. The framework emerged over years of CARICAD’s staff working directly with public sector organisations to better understand organisational effectiveness and organisation culture. “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” ― Gandhi In this current period, the impact of COVID-19 is forcing organisations, as they try to adapt to the new work realities, to reconsider the profile of their workforce far beyond the technical aptitude of employees. There is now a greater focus on the competencies and core values that employees bring to the table. As a result, quite apart from the reality that new graduates will now have to compete with workers who have been laid off, those who will be fortunate to secure employment will need to adjust to an evolving world of work filled with new protocols and requirements for particular competencies. New working professionals will therefore need to adapt not only to policies and procedures, but also patterns of work, employment arrangements and competency requirements related to every step of the employee journey, from recruiting and onboarding through to engagement at work. While new professionals may have a good command of digital, mobile, and social media technologies and communications, there are some softer skills that they may need to learn to survive in the workplace. For new professionals, the chances of getting or keeping the job could be greatly enhanced by having the right values. CARICAD has always been an advocate for values alignment in the workplace. Our collective professional experience has proven that without such alignment, work cultures tend to cultivate stress, undermine engagement and stymie productivity. New professionals as well as supervisors in the public sector must therefore learn how to engineer values alignment in a way that is authentic and sustainable in the post-COVID-19 workplace. CARICAD maintains that in order to create a values-friendly work environment in the public sector, it is critical not only to understand and embrace the level of performance being committed to, but also the level of values transparency that requires commitment.  Continues on next page 9

10 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication