Approximately 90% of companies have values, and they are often displayed proudly on conference room walls and throughout corporate literature. They are self-identified and aspirational but much less often do they become operational. In fact, a recent study by Gallup indicated that only 27% of employees strongly believe in their company’s core values and less than half strongly agree that they know what their company stands for or what makes them different.
At Douglas, our mission and values guide all of the things that we do. Meetings are opened with recognition tied to our company values. Annual employee awards are based on our company values. They are talked about, but much more importantly, they are lived out.
Maintaining a strong connection to values starts at the very beginning. During the recruitment process at Douglas, a significant amount of time and energy is dedicated to the alignment of values. Targeted, behavioral-based interview questions are used to identify specific examples of how a candidate has handled situations that are connected to our values. For example, we ask questions that demonstrate how they respond when in a difficult ethical situation to better understand how they align with our value of Unwavering Integrity or how they have reached out to support others in alignment with Servant’s Heart. The objective is to not only find candidates who have the technical skills needed to perform necessary job responsibilities, but to also find those who align to the greater mission and values of the company.
In a tight labor market, where unemployment is at an all-time low, it could be tempting for companies to relax their hiring process in order to fill open positions more quickly. This is not an option at Douglas. We understand the impact of hiring based on values and performance. The impact is seen in our work performance, our customer interactions, our internal interactions and the overall company success. We also know that hiring people without a values fit can come at a high cost. When individual values do not match with company values, an employee is less likely to be at a company very long. While difficult to fully understand the impact, the cost of replacing an employee is estimated anywhere between 20% and 50% (and sometimes higher) of an individual’s annual wage. Replacement costs come from such things as recruiting, training, loss of productivity and institutional knowledge.
We continually strive to hire applicants who are the right fit for Douglas, and this starts with our values. Hiring to values helps us maintain our positive company culture, it aligns to our corporate identity with our customers and builds a better work force that is 100% committed to our customers.