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The 4 most important Values to guide you at work

Values are an effective decision-making tool. Yes, they are not just ideals to be followed, but values can be and should be used as a scale to judge the correctness of a decision.

In our day-to-day life, we take many small and big decisions and end up being confused on many occasions as to what to do. According to various sources, the number of decisions we take in a day may range from 70 to a staggering 35,000. That can be tiring and it is technically called “decision fatigue”.

In this article, we are looking at how values can help in day to day decision making and can make us effective in our workplace (job or business), however, that doesn’t stop you from applying them in other areas of your life, as you will see reading further.

By definition, Values are a set of accepted beliefs and good behavior of an individual, organization, and society. It helps when values are clearly identified and defined for a person to know what actions to take and what actions to not take.

Let us keep it simple by focussing on 4 Core Values as examples and define their meaning. These values can be all-encompassing and applicable to all situations.

1. Integrity: “What you do when no one’s watching

This is a fundamental value and I have seen most organizations include it in their values charter. You may be in any kind of job and this value will be applicable to it. And it is fairly simple to practice. Just be loyal to the work you are doing and don’t find shortcuts or get into malpractices.

The lack of this value is what leads people to corruption, malpractices, low-quality products/service, and delays in output.

2. Honesty: “What you say about things no one was watching

A value that our elders at home or anyone senior has taught us since childhood, honesty is a scarce practice these days. However, to build strong and long-lasting relationships this is an essential component.

The same is for the workplace, being honest about one’s work, strengths, and areas of improvement can really help the organization. Think about the office where you can openly trust your colleagues and how productive and positive that the environment would be. This will be an environment where there is no blame game, few complaints, and a positive approach.

3. Commitment to Work: “What you think and do at work

Long breaks, engaging in water cooler politics, and making excuses can come really easily and is quite a compelling habit. However that neither helps us or the organization. Thus “Commitment to Work” becomes an important self-management value that we need to practice. You can think about how you approach your projects, how you track, and how you can deliver things quicker and with better quality. You can also think about what more you could do if you have free time, which takes us to our next value.

4. Going the extra mile: “What you do over and above your job responsibility

Have you ever said this or heard someone say, “I can only work this much in the salary I get”?
This is quite an attractive and deceivingly correct-sounding principle. And it has spoiled more careers than it has made. Going the extra mile is about doing 2 things: One is to fulfill all your job responsibilities and Two, to do stuff over and above that. It could be about taking up another project or helping a colleague in theirs.

Most organizations have defined their own set of values and it is important that we match our personal values with those of the organization and also make them our guiding principles in day-to-day decision making and our behavior.

We can make our work and our homes happier and ethical places where people can trust each other by basing ourselves on our core values.

Do you have a value that has helped you? Please do share in the comments section below.

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