Values and ethics are an important aspect of a workplace, and professionals are bound to take seriously various codes of conduct, values and ethics. According to an article by Marlon Mai, ‘Personal values vs company values’, company values and personal values are much the same, acting as guiding principles for what is said and done. While personal values are for employees to uncover, company values are consciously chosen and pre-set. An organisation’s values set the tone for workplace culture and pinpoint what the company cares about. However, what happens when the company’s values don’t necessarily match yours? Counterintuitive as it may sound, Vivian Mutesi, an administrator, believes that prioritising personal values could actually benefit your career in the long run. For her, sometimes when there is a conflict with something important in your personal life that requires putting work aside, sometimes you just need to say ‘no’. “Defining your own values, clarifying your strengths and understanding the reasons behind your actions, is essential for purposeful impact and meaningful work. In most cases, employees are most drained when their organisation values something other than what they value personally. It’s energising when an employee’s values are also appreciated. “It’s important to take time to reflect what being successful means to you. It will be different for you than for other people. While relaying this to your supervisors can be intimidating, be clear about why you are saying no,” she says. Jacqueline Iringaniza, a counsellor in Kigali, says that when one realises that their personal values are misaligned with the company’s values, chances of helping the company advance are slim. “This is when employees begin working and living for the weekend, eventually taking a toll on their work performance. If one finds themselves perhaps feeling guilty of not fulfilling responsibilities, whether at work or personally, this is probably a clear signal that they need to re-examine that value. Being sincere about achieving both values will only empower you. “Create a routine that you cannot skip. If being part of your child’s school day, for example, or dedicating a certain day for prayers, is non-negotiable, then build it into your schedule and notify your superiors so there can’t be conflicts,” she says. Realigning the values In the unfortunate event that values constantly conflict, Iringaniza says it is important to make drastic choices, especially if there are any significant financial implications or affected egos involved. “Any conflict of values should be addressed directly with solutions to find a common ground. Avoid staying in a state of denial or escalating the conflict. It’s also important to raise the matter if there are any egos affected,” she says.