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Organisations are relying less on policies to guide their employees and focusing more on a values-centred approach, enabling people to be themselves and do their best work.

In a future that works’ latest research, Best in Class, I interviewed people leaders from some of Australia’s leading organisations and captured their insights and predictions. These leaders are focussing less attention on rigid policies and more on aligning values and behaviours. Essentially, they are focusing on emotional skills, not just technical skills.

Healthy and productive workplaces are inclusive, and prioritise people development, engagement and work/life satisfaction. Australia’s best in class organisations are proactively nurturing environments for their people to flourish and achieve their professional aspirations now and in the future. These leaders told me that this increases motivation in their workplaces and enables their people to do their best work.

PwC is prioritising values in their workplace by reinforcing purpose and meaning at work and putting people first. An annual check  assesses if the five values ring true in the behaviours demonstrated in the workplace.

Employment relationships are also shifting from being transactional to relational.

In the not-for-profit world, Starlight Children’s Foundation focuses on engagement with its 2,700 volunteers. The organisation runs workshops to tell its story to everyone involved with Starlight, and in doing so people now “own” all the results of the whole organisation and understand how they contribute.

Mercy Health takes a similar approach, with an induction day for new starters which explores the organisation’s founding story, spirituality, ethics and values.

Modern, leading workplaces are supporting their people to achieve their aspirations, through helping them understand how their contributions fit within the bigger picture.

Our earlier research into CEO Insights found that the moral compass of organisations extends beyond business practices and outputs, to culture and the way leaders treat their staff. Our best in class organisations and their people leaders understand this. They are bringing their purpose and values to life, ensuring both meaningful work for their people and organisational success.

I believe that emotional intelligence is now viewed as a higher value in work today and my interviews for Best in Class confirmed this.

How do you align your people with your organisation’s values? Check out the full Best in Class report for more examples of what outstanding organisations in Australia are doing to achieve values alignment in their workplaces.