Companies where workers share and identify with the values of their bosses are much more likely to perform better, a new study has suggested.
The report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has concluded employee attitudes, the culture of an organisation and HR practices are more important as predictors of business performance than traditional measures such as R&D, technology and quality.
It also found "a clear link" between the way in which people are managed and developed and the bottom-line.
The report, Vision and values: organisational culture and values as a source of competitive advantage, found workers were also much more likely to identify with an organisation’s values when they were reflected in everyday activities.
Where strongly shared values were able to be demonstrated, workers were more likely to be satisfied, displaying higher levels of organisational commitment, lower quit rates, greater customer satisfaction, and lower levels of dissent or dissatisfaction over levels of pay, the study reported.
It cited the example of one large retailer where people in different branches receiving identical pay had widely divergent levels of satisfaction and commitment, which in turn were directly correlated to the extent to which they demonstrated shared values.
CIPD organisation and resourcing adviser Angela Baron said: "Mission statements and strategic decrees from on high are not enough. People need to feel a sense of purpose which is reflected in a positive environment.
"If organisations are going to get the discretionary behaviours from individuals which are so important to business performance, they must work to create supportive cultures which encourage innovation and performance," she added.
"New employees will adopt the culture and behaviours of the existing team – and these cultures and behaviours become self-perpetuating. A change at the top of a team cannot, in itself, change the values of the team.
"Organisations need to adopt the people management practices that create a virtuous circle – in which people want to build success, enjoy working for successful organisations, and exhibit the discretionary behaviours that continue to build that success."