Communicating and practicing core values and ethics is vital to the success of companies and organizations, according to a study conducted by Marlene S. Neill, an assistant professor of journalism, public relations and new media at Baylor University.

Neill interviewed 32 business executives about the importance of values and ethics in employer branding – the development of “intellectual and emotional buy-in among employees to the point where they are committed to their employers, reflect the brand’s values and become brand champions.”

These leaders recognized that consistent communication of guiding principles must be coupled with the consistent demonstration of these principles in order to attract and retain quality employees, the report explained.

Six recommendations arose from the interviews. Employers should:

  1. Communicate ethics in a culturally relevant way through employee testimonials and historical anecdotes.
  2. Review their core values to identify any inconsistencies with their policies and reward systems and then make necessary revisions.
  3. Review their recruitment and orientation materials for inclusion of core values and consistency with their employer brand.
  4. Evaluate their existing ethics programs and determine if any additional resources should be added.
  5. Conduct routine surveys to determine how employees rate the company’s/organization’s performance in regard to their core values.
  6. Evaluate and reward employees who model ethical behavior through annual performance reviews and awards programs.

“While many companies focus on making employees more customer service-minded, promoting core values is a way to engage employees and increase their commitment and loyalty to the organization and at the same time encourage ethical decision making,” Neill stated.

The full report is available here.

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