23% of staff apply values and ethics daily

create an environment where staff will live your values

There is much talk these days about ethics, values, and corporate social responsibility – and rightly so. These are increasingly important subjects.

This is the seventh of 10 THOUGHTS addressing ethics, values, and CSR in marketing.

A recent Gallup poll in the United States found that only 23% of staff actually believed that they reflected the values of their employer in their day to day working behaviour. Only 27% of employees suggested that the ‘strongly agree’ with the values of the organisation they work for.

Yesterday’s THOUGHT looked at the importance of staff living the core values of a business and reflecting those values and ethical standards in their day to day behaviour, not just most of the time – but all of the time. Yesterdays though addressed the critical questions each business must ask in this regard, if it is to ensure that its customer base engages with its values and shops accordingly.

In addition to addressing the issues noted yesterday, it is also important to ensure that the board and management of the business set a good example by walking the talk.

he recent banking Royal Commission in Australia suggested that while the banks had documented values that few would argue with – a disturbingly significant proportion of staff were not, are not, behaving in a manner consistent with those values. Further to this, comments by the Royal Commissioner suggest that board member and chief executives were also not behaving in a manner consistent with the stated values and ethical requirements (let alone self-imposed standards) of the institutions.

If board members and chief executives and not consistently behaving in a manner consistent with the values and ethical standards of the business, two things inevitably occur:

  • Firstly, the staff see no reason why they should
  • Secondly, the customers don’t believe the business ever will

Staff and customer judge businesses by the behaviour of their directors and executives. Perhaps that is why a world-wide survey found that only 37% of consumers say that they trust business executives.
It is essential that your brand is built from the top down. It can never be – ‘do as I say’. Research suggests that it can only ever be – ‘do as I do’.

It is one thing to define a brand and quite another thing to create it. It is one thing to have values but quite another thing to live them, bring them to life and have them associated with the brand. To establish values, it is essential that they are consistently reflected in the behaviour of board members, managers
and all staff.

If directors and managers do not walk the talk on values and ethics and are not seen to be doing so, it is not possible to create an environment in which staff will do so consistently.


Set the values in the board room. Start living the values in the board room. Ensure that all managers live the values consistently – and them address staff

To facilitate this, only engage directors and managers who have values consistent with the business and who have a preparedness to demonstrate those values every day. It is not just about staff


Ashton, Nielsen, Business Dictionary, Business Bank of Texas, Digital Marketing Resource Centre, Smart Company, Forbes, American Management Association, Zenzi, Investopedia, Accounting Web, Reliable Plant, Fond, Gallup, Mintel

MORE THOUGHTS – www.djohncarlsonesq.com 

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