How is your corporate life
Living values in the company
Companies striving for profit also need values. However, values cannot simply be prescribed and implementation is more difficult than defining them.
trust is important
"Only a community of values can also be a community of performance," says Sven Korndörffer, board member of the Values Commission in Bonn and Managing Director at the Aareal Bank Group in Wiesbaden. In the banking industry in particular, it was not a matter of course for a long time that good business could only be done in the long term if there was trust. Between customer and bank as well as between employee and employer.
A lack of values makes companies unattractive
"If there is arbitrariness in terms of values or if egomaniacs have the say in the company, it becomes more and more difficult to find competent employees who are highly committed to the employer's goals," says Dr. Hans Böhm, once a personnel developer at Audi and later for 15 years managing director of the German Society for Personnel Management (DGFP). For Böhm, who works as a consultant today, this does not mean that values cannot change. "But I am convinced that there are unchangeable core values".
Trust, responsibility, integrity
For the former managing director of the DGFP, trust is one of the most important values. The executives surveyed by the Values Commission in 2010 also put trust at the top of the list of personal values, followed by responsibility, integrity and respect. Companies that their employees (can) trust often have an easier time in times of crisis, as employees are more willing to make concessions based on positive experience. But trust must first be established. "This is possible through recognition and respect, credibility and honest and open communication," says Böhm.
Information as a sign of appreciation
Weleda AG in Schwäbisch Gmünd sees itself as a value-oriented company. "We value our employees," says Doris Ehrensberger-Urbach, Head of Human Resources for the Weleda location in Germany. An expression of the appreciation is for example to inform the employees "in a timely, sufficient and understandable way" about all operational processes, structures and economic goals. "Our employees should be aware of what is important to us," says Doris Ehrensberger-Urbach.
But in this culture of trust in the company committed to anthroposophy, it is about more than just understanding its employees.
"In order to be able to work independently and to identify with a job that is experienced as meaningful, the employees are involved in decisive discussion and decision-making processes," explains Ehrensberger-Urbach. This is the only way for employees to take responsibility for their tasks, within the framework of which goals are ultimately also defined using the classic instrument of agreements.
Support personal development of the individual
At Weleda, the dialogue with employees is not reduced to the target agreement and annual review, but is a permanent "dialogical process". "We try to keep talking," says Ehrensberger-Urbach. It is important to your company that employees consciously contribute their own ideas and abilities, use room for maneuver and thus expand their skills.
Fair and friendly through encounters
Sparda-Bank München eG also wants to deal with one another in a consciously "fair and friendly" way. From the bank's point of view, this is not without preconditions. "Recognizing and understanding otherness is a prerequisite for friendliness and fairness," says Michael Dumpert, company developer at Sparda-Bank Munich. However, this does not define certain behaviors of the around 600 employees and managers. Rather, it consciously creates opportunities for encounter in order to be able to recognize and understand differences and learn to respect.
For example, entire departments use energy balances to determine how tasks and projects can be jointly implemented there and how each individual can contribute their skills and interests in such a way that they can draw energy from them and not just invest. Observations should also contribute to fairness and friendliness, during which the employees get to know each other better across departments.
In the relationship between employees and managers at Sparda-Bank Munich, events specified in the management standards such as weekly team meetings, the reflection of team results, the annual one-on-one discussion on personal strengths, the personal contribution to success and the annual development discussion would provide the opportunity to meet. Opportunities like this exist in other companies too, but how they are filled is crucial.
Honesty and fairness
For Dr. For Hans Böhm, fairness and honesty as a prerequisite for trust must not be empty formulas in the contact between management and employees. Rather, the values of fairness and honesty meant taking the other person as a whole with their strengths, weaknesses, interests and needs seriously and, if necessary, dealing with them. "Without lies, tactical tricks and intrigues," said Böhm.
(Rainer Spies, December 2011 / Image: Tom Wang)
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