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Seattle ahead of the nation on corporate core values

New Eagle Hill Consulting Poll Finds 73 Percent Seattle Employees Know Corporate Values, 20 Points Higher Than National Awareness Level 

Alignment of Company Values & Employee Behavior Can Provide Competitive Edge, Boost Business Performance 

Seattle, WA., May 2, 2017 – A new survey by Eagle Hill Consulting indicates that Seattle has a significant edge when it comes to corporate core values. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of Seattle workers know their employer’s core values compared to about half (53 percent) of working Americans nationwide.

The research also finds that 83 percent of Seattleites say their employer encourages them to raise concerns if there appears to be dishonest or questionable behavior by fellow employees. Nationally, this number is at 75 percent. In Seattle and nationally, some 89 percent of workers say that company core values steer their decisions and behavior at work.

The poll findings are important because the alignment between values and behavior can have a big impact on business performance and the bottom line.

Read an infographic with the poll findings here.

“These findings speak to the unconventional culture of Seattle companies – one where employee engagement, communication, and work-life balance typically are embedded in the corporate DNA,” says Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill president and chief executive officer. “The city is home to some of the world’s most innovative and successful companies, and it’s often because employees are working in an environment that empowers high performance and behavior aligned with corporate values and strategies.”

“Organizational values are the driving force motivating employees’ day-to-day behavior and their relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders,” says Jordan Henry, Eagle Hill’s Seattle office lead. “So, it’s vitally important that employees know, embrace, and live corporate core values. Our research finds that’s happening in Seattle in a deep way, giving companies in this region a competitive edge,” Henry explained.

Research finds that when it comes to culture and values, high levels of integrity are positively correlated with successful business outcomes including higher productivity and profitability. Eagle Hill’s new polling is consistent with this research, given that nearly nine in 10 Seattle workers who know their company values say it drives their performance.

The research was commissioned in the wake of recent scandals that seem to be rooted in a breakdown in organizational culture and core values. In recent weeks, companies like Uber and the airline industry have been at the center of a corporate culture storm with employee actions that are not aligned with stated company values. Earlier this year, Wells Fargo & Co. was under fire amid revelations that some 5,300 employees opened as many as two million fraudulent accounts without customers’ knowledge. And, drug maker Mylan drew ire for increasing the price from $100 to $600 for its lifesaving food allergy EpiPen device.

“Other good news in our poll is that most Seattle employees feel that they are in an environment where they can report ethical lapses,” Henry explained. “Some 83 percent of Seattle respondents said that their employer’s culture actually encourages them to raise concerns if there appears to be dishonest or questionable behavior by co-workers. For leaders, this whistleblower reporting can be a trigger to examine if there is a misunderstanding of values or a misalignment between company values and policies – such as sales targets or compensation – that can drive negative behavior.”

When employees say they don’t know their organization’s values, that’s a warning signal that an organization can’t effectively execute on its business strategies, has a workforce morale issue, or is vulnerable to ethical lapses. And when there is a values breakdown, the culture simply becomes what is tolerated among managers and employees. At best, the organization isn’t as effective as it can be. At worst, we see ethical lapses that become a crisis.

The Eagle Hill survey was an online poll conducted by Ipsos in January 2017, and it included 505 respondents in the Seattle area. The national poll was conducted in October 2016 with 604 respondents from across the nation. The results were weighted to reflect U.S. demographic factors, including age, income, the four national census regions, and gender.

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides management consulting services in the areas of business strategy, organizational transformation, human capital transformation, process improvement, program management and change management. Eagle Hill works with a range of public, private and non-profit organizations across the country with offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and in Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.