Values & Beliefs

Values  & Beliefs …. seem very close , but I think distinction exists , however thin  . My understanding is that,  Values are kind of guidelines one has ( a self understood sense of Right , Wrong ) , whereas beliefs are what we believe as true ( valid for us ) like convictions . In a way values also have to be beliefs ( convictions ) though they go beyond being ( mere ) beliefs & actually guide or channel our behaviour — it’s a ‘ fall back ‘ mechanism of our conscience .

I tend to use analogies as they help clarity on a point . If I can take analogy here from science ; Values to me are ‘ Vectors ‘ ( which have a sense of direction ) & beliefs are like ‘ Scalers ‘ ; both may have the same weight ( quantum ) , but  ‘Values’  in addition have direction .

If we take values as guidelines & not as virtues ( good / bad ) , in that sense , I suppose everyone — including a criminal or a politician — has ‘ Values ‘


Role of Values


# Each of us has a set of values – stated / unstated ; in conscious awareness / subliminal , which act as anchors to our behaviours , it has to do with our sense of what is right / wrong , what is / is not good .

# Our values guide our behavior . Whatever we do , each of us has a sense , deep within , of  whether we what did was ‘ right ‘ or ‘ wrong ‘ regardless of the ‘ face ‘ we put up for the world . If what we do is right / aligned with our values & belief system , there is a kind of an equilibrium in our mind , which makes us feel comfortable or happy . If we don’t reach this equilibrium , deep inside we feel unhappy & continue to struggle till we reach that equilibrium .

# It’s hence important for us to know what our values are & seek greater alignment in our behavior , so that we don’t carry a burden on our chest of too many ‘ non- equilibrium ‘ situations

# Knowing & aligning behaviours with our values not only helps a balanced , peaceful mind for seeking &   imparting greater insights for the client , but also affords clarity on our path to guide others we coach .

# For organisations system of Values , Culture by guiding employee behaviour , act as a systemic check . To me Values & Culture make for a better , non-stifling control mechanisms for evolved organisations , compared to conventional control mechanisms . Conventional control mechanisms are more tactical / transactional , can’t be comprehensive , are punitive & have more ‘ physical element ‘ to it … in the sense they tend to control more our bodies than our minds … certainly not souls . Controls through culture work more on mind / psyche , are systemic , comprehensive , more proactive & hence are more sustainable ,

Employee Value Proposition

What role does a place of employment play… it a place for sustenance              ( which pays you get monthly salary ) , A place to pass – while away time , having  ( or wanting ) no better pursuit in life ,  A place to get stuck for a life time security or better still treat as a ‘ transit lounge ‘ to hang around till you find a better paying place

In a professional set up , if there are rigorous standards on employee competence at entry & ongoing levels ; employer / employment too needs to offer a distinct competence , a distinct value to employees – a reason , a purpose to attract & retain high caliber people .

Workplaces need no longer be a ‘ Captive areas ‘ where employees are ‘ confined ‘ for the work day , day after day &  policed by a jail warden called Supervisor  . These are not places where you hate to but have to come to earn your living . Workplace is not like a hanging rod on the wall where you park yourself like clothes . Workplaces need to go beyond merely being salary disbursement stations & work needs to progress beyond being a contractual drudgery .

Workplaces ought to offer a ‘ value ‘ to an employee . A purpose to come to work & contribute  …a place where an employee would be looking forward to coming every morning than looking forward to run away from it at the stroke of the closing hour . A place which inspires energy & maximises contribution rather than for dissipation & gossip .

That’s where employment ‘draw’ ( reason to come to work ) needs to go  beyond Salary / Money …… I’m not saying that money is not important , by all means it’s & probably will continue to be so , for any job , any level . any timeframe . Though money will not be THE reason to attract an employee to the workplace  .

That’s where an employment needs to offer a ‘ Value Proposition ‘ to its employees .

A Value Proposition is like a sense of purpose , a  cause to espouse , an inspiration for bonding , a meaningful belonging , a way to engage employees with the organization & its mission on a long term basis . As said earlier ; while money doesn’t cease to be important at any point in time ( though extent & emphasis may change ) , a Value Proposition goes much beyond & offers a value much beyond mere money .

Value proposition is an Organisation’s ability to engage employees on a long term basis . It reflects organisation’s character , core purpose , values & employee aspirations  . It’s like in a marriage alliance — you do not look for just a single parameter from your prospective partner – but a mix of different things . Also what you finally get & find acceptable  is not maximization on any one / all parameters but a trade off , an acceptable mix which makes an overall sense to you & vice versa for your partner .

Similarly an organization offering to its employees , is not unidirectional ( money ) but an optimal mix of offering on different parameters – which together makes a good sense .

What makes a worthwhile Value Proposition to employees of an organization , will really depend on what that organization stands for , what it has to offer & what is of strategic interest to its employees ; but here are some parameters which can be of interest to employees & may be deployed by Organsiations in their respective value propositions .

–          Job satisfaction , Exposure , Freedom of expression / operation

–          Recognition , rewards , Long term benefits

–          Development opportunities , enrichment , career progression

–          Work ambience , facilities , culture  , equality , human dignity

–          Values , ethics , transparency , Company reputation , pride in association

–          Market standing / leadership , strong financials/fundamentals , infrastructure , bright future

This is in addition to / independent of the money on offer . Depending on perceived value of such a proposition by an employee he / she is willing to accept a trade off vis-à-vis total money . On the other hand money alone can never make up for a lack of / weak employee value proposition & can not help sustain such associations for long .

Just as unique is any individual person , Value Propositions of individual companies can too be  very unique  to their employees . The stronger the Value Proposition of an organization , more difficult it is for its rivals to dilute it with an offering of bigger money to attract  employees form such an organization .