A Corporate Values statement can be assessed by using a few criteria. One such a criteria is the way in which these values match the characteristics of the company. It makes sense when different types of companies value other behavior. Therefore to understand the meaning of a corporate values statement you should first look at the type of company. In this case we are dealing with an investment company.
The first value is especially important to evaluate such a match and in case of the investment company we are dealing with: Meritocracy:
“The recognition and rewarding of people based on the contributions and achievements they make.” This seems more than logical. An investment company is all about return and performance, and each and every employee is reminded of this relation.
Most other values in this example seem to match the type of the company:
- Excellence: we are passionate about delivering results …
- Respect: we believe that people are our most valuable assets …
- Integrity: we apply the highest ethical, moral and professional standards in our conduct …
- Innovation: we constantly look for ways to do things better …
- Teamwork: we are a community with diverse strengths working together to achieve a common goal.
Excellence, respect, integrity (often used for financials in general), innovation and teamwork. Teamwork is important to stress when an organization is structured around specialists, in this case no single investor will know it all. (If you invest on the stock exchange yourself you will recognize this).
Balance is also an important criteria. Sometimes there are too many values mentioned which make it hard to focus on all of them. Six values like in this case seems reasonable.
Focus is an other criteria. Some companies define values from a company-viewpoint. Than it is hard to feel the value on a personal level, nor is it easy to make the value operational. In the end, values are to communicate to (individual) employees not for an abstract concept as the organization. In this case the individual is addressed by: “we are passionate… We reward on contribution…” these have an individual focus, but: “we believe that people are our most valuable assets,” and “we apply the highest ethical, moral and professional standards” are group statement and hard to make operational.
Credibility as a criteria summarizes much of the other criteria and shows whether the values are really used in the company or that they are only a set of written rules.
In this example the credibility seems alright, although the values could be more addressed from an individual viewpoint. Finally, the definition of innovation is more to do with “… to do things differently,” than “to do things better.”
© 2007 Hans Bool