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Grounds for Inspiration

When selecting employers, today's job candidates are focusing less on the financial rewards a company offers and more on the values it embraces. Workers in all industries are seeking out employers whose values are consistent with their own and, once on board, for evidence that management lives by those values. As Green Mountain Coffee Roasters discovered, when employees and their employers share the same values, workers report higher job satisfaction and a greater interest in helping their organization succeed.

Like a growing number of values-based organizations, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters encourages its workers to volunteer in the community -- up to fifty-two hours each year -- on company time. Employees work with school children, volunteer at food shelters, coach little league, pound nails with Habitat for Humanity -- whatever they choose. Last year, Vermont-based Green Mountain paid employees for more than 2,000 hours of community service.

As Jon C. Reidel reports in a story for the University of Vermont, Green Mountain commissioned a study to find out if its employees valued the program, and to learn whether other organizations could use the approach to inspire their workers. The study answered both questions affirmatively. Employees who participated in the volunteer program said it made them proud to work at Green Mountain, and described having feelings of "oneness" with the company. Furthermore, participants tended to be more cooperative in the workplace, as measured through supervisory ratings of employee behavior. What organization would not benefit from those results?

The Green Mountain study verifies that are happier and more committed when they feel their values and those of their employer are the same. So, what are you doing to prove your organization's values?
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