Shared values and assumptions

All workplace cultures should have a deeply held set of values that are shared by those working and living in it. They tell staff how to behave and what attitudes they need to achieve the vision of your organisation.

The values within a positive workplace culture should align with the values needed for person-centred, high quality care and support. They might be values such as:

  • dignity and respect
  • working together
  • showing a commitment to quality care and support
  • learning and reflection.

It’s essential to recruit people who have the right values to work in adult social care, and continue to develop these values to maintain a positive workplace culture.

When the values of your staff match your workplace values this can help you deliver high quality and consistent care and support, and maintain a positive workplace culture.

When they don’t, it can lead to recruitment and retention challenges and foster bad practice which can damage your culture. That’s why it’s so important to identify your workplace values and ensure they’re embedded throughout your organisation and culture.

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Exercise

Read the scenario and answer the questions below.

Orchard End Services is a small organisation that supports young adults with learning disabilities to live independent lives in their community. 

Mike, one of the directors, strongly believes that their services should be personalised to meet individual wants and needs. He has developed a workplace culture that is dynamic, enterprising and energetic. His staff must be forward thinking, creative in developing care and support solutions and team players whilst also being able to work independently and responsibly in the community.

He’s recently advertised for a new worker to support individuals to develop their own care and support packages. After the interview he has two potential members of staff. Both of them have the right skills, values and attitudes to work in social care - Mike is now looking for that ‘cultural fit’.

Susan has worked in the care sector for 10 years in both domiciliary and residential services for people living with autism. She holds a level 3 qualification in health and social care and has applied for this post because she’s had contact with Mike’s team through her work and is impressed by the services they provide. She strongly believes that everyone has the right to choose and control their own care and support. She also wants to broaden her own experience and learn new skills as she hopes to achieve a manager’s post in a few years’ time.

Jacky started her career as a housing officer. Several years ago she moved jobs and has now been working with a small charity supporting unemployed young people to get involved in voluntary work in their local area. She’s passionate about the development of vibrant communities and the inclusion of all citizens. She is motivated to improve her practice and learn new skills, enrolling in a distance learning course that will lead to a social science degree within the next year. She has applied for this post as the charity has insufficient funds to continue and she will be made redundant.

Now answer these questions.

  • Who would you choose to work in Mike’s service?
  • What factors influenced your decisions?
  • Thinking about your own organisation, what wording would you use to advertise a post to ensure that future staff shared your workplace values (and was therefore a cultural ‘fit’)?

How to develop and embed shared values in your workplace

Taking a values-based approach to your recruitment and retention can help you develop and embed shared workplace values.

This approach involves identifying your workplace values and embedding them throughout your organisation, including in your recruitment and retention practices. This ensures that you recruit staff who have the right values to work in your organisation, and therefore are a ‘cultural fit’, and more importantly keep them!

Resources to help: Values-based recruitment toolkit

Our online toolkit can help you:

  • identify your values
  • embed your values
  • include values in recruitment and selection
  • reinforce values in induction
  • include values in supervision and appraisals
  • ensure values are embedded in leadership and management.

It includes:

  • examples of core values
  • examples of what employers would like/ don’t want to see – which shows how values look in practice
  • guidance to include values in job descriptions and person specifications
  • using profiling systems to assess candidate’s values
  • how you can learn to do a values-based interviews.

Visit the toolkit here. 

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