Success and knowing the importance of company culture and values 

UK firms are cognisant of the need to ensure their values and company culture align with societal views.

Stakeholders, whether that’s customers, investors or the media, expect organisations to live their company values, clearly demonstrating that the values in a company, including its practices and employee benefits, are fitting with the face that is presented to the outside world.

REBA’s exclusive Aligning corporate culture with human values breakfast event, in association with Mercer Marsh Benefits, brought senior reward professionals from an array of sectors together to discuss how rising values – such as having a purpose, being sustainable, aiming for environmental targets, and promoting diversity, equality & inclusion (DEI) and wellbeing – link with organisational culture, and responsible reward and benefits in today’s corporations.

The issues challenging company values and culture

Employers cannot afford to ignore the expectations put on them by their customers, shareholders and employees. As the attendees of our breakfast event noted, organisations have to take action to protect their business’s reputation, support employees’ wellbeing – be it their mental health, physical health – and to become inclusive.

Aligning reward strategy

Challenging and changing reward strategy to better align with purpose and values, particularly for executives, is a “fundamental challenge”, as one of our breakfast attendees noted.

Aligning benefits strategy

Although there is an obvious need to do more within the reward space, many organisations have made good progress with their benefits offering. Nearly everything from pensions through to healthcare can be related back to human values, whether it’s offering ESG or climate-friendly pension investment funds, through to taking a fairer approach with healthcare benefits.

The journey to company values and culture alignment

Of all the organisations that partook in our breakfast session, not one had completed their journey to alignment. In fact, many were still grappling with how to connect their organisation internally to ensure that HR was not siloed in its efforts to align values and culture. In some organisations that meant creating a new strategy role to oversee sustainability and ESG, and ensure a cohesive approach.

As external pressures continue to mount, the need for organisations to walk the talk when it comes to human values and corporate culture is only going to increase.

For more on the issues raised in this article, read the second report in our Transforming Engagement Series: Aligning corporate culture and human values.

Values and company culture need to be in sync. While ESG targets are now more common in the UK, companies do still lag behind their European counterparts with a low proportion incorporating ESG metrics into annual bonuses or longer-term incentives.
Michelle Sequeira

UK Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consulting Leader, Mercer

Michelle Sequeira
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