Sometimes the values of the workplace conflict with your own. It’s quite natural to feel uncomfortable being in a work environment where the primary focus and thrust is not compatible with your beliefs.

The questions in the following survey might help you examine what you believe are the fundamental beliefs and values that your workplace supports. Then you can determine whether or not those workplace values match your beliefs and values about work.

Think about your workplace and what goes on (not only up front but also behind the scenes).

Ask yourself some questions:

  1. What are the primary concerns of my workplace?
    What comes first in my employer’s operations?
    What kind of working relationships and practices does the organization I work for foster?
  1. Look at the following list and check off those values you believe your workplace tries to maintain and promote. Attempt to find at least five or six values.

– reputation
– being first
– integrity and honesty with employees and clients
– cooperation and sharing
– competition
– expansion
– loyalty of employees
– customer satisfaction
– acceptance of rules and regulations without questions
– there is more than one right way of doing things
– commitment to whatever training employees need to do the job better
– valuable contribution to society
– environmental and social responsibility
– profit margin
– quality product
– providing leadership
– improving conditions for others
– commitment to employee well-being
– employees are encouraged to stretch themselves in their abilities to perform tasks
– employees are invited to be independent, creative and critical thinkers
– staff opinions enter into the decision-making

  1. Which of those workplace values and priorities you’ve checked off are you in agreement?
  1. Note which workplace values and priorities are not in accord with your own. Can you live with those particular value differences between yourself and those of the workplace? Keep in mind what you want from your job now and what you do in your career each day.

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Nor are they the only work-related values that concern employers. They are just questions to start you thinking about the benefits played out in your workplace and whether they are ones you want to be associated. The more questions you ask yourself about why things operate the way they do, the more likely you will be to uncover values that affect you and the practices at your place of employment.

Look back again at your responses to the My Beliefs and Values About Work survey. Review the five or six values you checked off as being vital to you for your reasons to work. Are most of your needs and values being met in this job? If not, you may have reason to be dissatisfied with your job.

Now that you’ve looked again at your work values and examined which ones are prevalent in your workplace, you may have a clearer picture of what provides satisfaction to you at work. If our values and those of the workplace don’t mesh, then maybe we don’t belong to that particular company or organization.

Our work will be satisfying when it satisfies our most critical values. If we want our jobs to be meaningful, we must periodically re-evaluate the type of work we do to determine how well our jobs meet our needs and values.

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