employee engagement

Communicating your company values pays in employee engagement

By April 4, 2014 No Comments

What type of manager are you? Are you a clear communicator? And a strong leader? But do you encourage a company culture of creativity?

A new piece of research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) warns that workplace cultures dominated by rules, bureaucracy and targets mean that managers are switching off their sense of care for others.

It claims the general population can be divided almost equally into six different ethical character types – Philosophers, Judges, Angels, Teachers, Enforcers and Guardians – according to how far their approach to ethical matters is driven by their hearts, heads or compliance with rules.


But, as our infographic shows, the CMI has found higher numbers of Enforcers, Judges and Philosophers in management positions. Why?

The simple answer is these three character types are better noted for their ability to force their views on those below them rather than show empathy for colleagues. In other words, the manager that yells orders at his or her staff still rules the roost in the workplace.

One way this imbalance can change is by examining your internal communications, where clear guidance on company values drives employee engagement. Here at Southerly HQ we have the company’s values written in very attractive giant Letraset-style graphics on the walls of our kitchen area. The same messages also appear on the back of our toilet doors.


This might not be the most common place a company’s values are displayed, but it keeps them front of mind and it sure beats what’s written on the back of the door in the ladies’ loo at my local supermarket (the same store that demonstrated real creative genius when it temporarily changed its signage to Murriwins in celebration of Andy Murray’s victory at Wimbledon last summer). I’m only aware of this because last weekend I overheard a female customer complain to a staff member that “a picture of a man’s parts had been drawn on a cubicle door and was accompanied by some rude words”.

Competitive advantage

But won’t redefining your organisation’s values be the commercial equivalent of letting the caring, sharing lunatics take over the asylum? Not if you don’t want them to.

Southerly’s company values are not just words, they are behaviours that we have identified will help us deliver a competitive advantage.

They not only dictate our approach to delivering client satisfaction (and even delight on occasion), they play a significant role in our recruitment strategy. This helps to ensure everybody at Southerly is singing the same tune.

Forgive me for my evangelical tone but I fully embrace Southerly’s value of Infectious Enthusiasm (I just think I’m excused from the Sunny Disposition value in the week my bank announces it’s levying a whopping £3 a day charge on my overdraft – that’s over a grand a year to those of you reading this on a mobile device who can’t be bothered accessing their calculator function). When employees of any business, from the smallest start-up to a global giant, are engaged and display an emotional and dynamic approach towards their work, they will embrace the behaviours outlined in its values and share them not only between themselves but also with the company management.

And when everyone in an organisation is singing the same tune in harmony you’re well on the way towards projecting a rich and engaging image to the outside world – without the need for management to silence choruses of dissent.

About Southerly

We are a creative content agency. We are storytellers.


WeWork Central,
30 Stamford Street,


+44 (0)20 3397 4971



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