Not Happy at Work? Do You Share the Company’s Values?

Values – principles or beliefs that guide the company.  Knowing the values of the company you work for can help you determine whether you are a good fit.  The values a company says it has may not be the values employees see and feel.  If you never feel comfortable in your work situation, it could be a values mismatch.  Here is a list of 10 pairs of values.  I’ve tried to pair ones that are almost opposite together so that you can see that valuing the first would give you a very different culture than valuing the second.  In my list there are no “bad” values but there may be some that would produce a culture that would be uncomfortable for you.


  1. Family friendly versus business comes first – With a company that truly is family friendly you would find people understanding about child care issues, supportive about your leaving to coach a child’s sports team, offering  telecommuting as an option when a family member is ill.  When a company values its own business first you will be rewarded for results that support the company’s business goals.
  2. Customer focused versus bottom line focused – Customer focused companies give employees ability to satisfy the customer complaints even when it means refunding payment.  Those focused on the bottom line would be more apt to try to satisfy the customer in another way without a refund.
  3. Quick changing versus incremental change – A company that values quick change will be in constant change.  You’ll need to be flexible to move with a company like this.  Other companies spend time thinking through change.  You’ll need to be patient to work with that company.
  4. Risk taking versus safe, analytical and reasoned approach – Companies that value risk taking may look to employees to take chances.  They need to also be accepting of failure. (You’ll want to make sure of that!) A company that values a safe, analytical, reasoned approach will move more slowly testing a new idea before moving on it.
  5. Innovative business versus stable business – Businesses that value innovation are always looking for the next upgrade or new idea to develop.  Creative people love to work for this type of business.  Nothing remains the same for long. On the other hand some businesses value their stability.  They have all their processes defined and employees are expected to follow the defined processes.
  6. Fast paced versus deliberate paced – Just as some people like to move quickly and some have a more deliberate and steady pace so do companies.  Depending on your style you’ll be more at home at one or the other.  (The DISC assessment will determine your style.  Ask me about it.)
  7. Team approach versus individual contributor – Some people love working in groups and thrive with a company that values teamwork.  Other people prefer working alone and coming together occasionally to update each other.  There are companies that foster the team approach and others that encourage individual contributions.
  8. External cause (conservation, environment, organic, serving food banks etc.) along with business bottom line versus singular business focus – Many people look for companies with a larger world view and a focus on solving larger issues while at the same time doing their own business.  Companies that do that may be a fit for some of you.  Others may prefer to do that sort of service on their own time.
  9. Fashion forward versus business like appearance at all times – Look at the mode of dress within the organization. Are you comfortable with it?  It might be very buttoned down or it could be jeans and sneakers.  If dress is important to you make sure you look for a place that supports your style.
  10. Have fun while you work versus a serious approach to the customer – During the dot com era many played games at work to relax after working hard.  Foosball was big.  There are still companies that emphasize their playful attitude.  Others are all business. Where do you fit?

Think about what is most important to you in your work situation and look for companies that share your values.

You can find a list of 20 Core Values at this website.

Free Values Tool

Do you know your values?  When you know the principals and beliefs that are most important to you, you can identify potential trouble spots in your job, your relationships and your ability to achieve your goals.  You will be able to easily create your vision of the job or practice that is perfect for you. Now is the time to identify your values whether you are looking for a job, are unhappy in your current job or are thinking about moving on to your next career or job. I offer a free values tool for my newsletter readers.  Just email me at for a copy.  If you would like a more in depth discussion and assessment, call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at

I wrote another article on company values.  You will find it on my website.


Comments are closed.