Background
20 October 2014

Everything begins
with values

Times are changing and companies must follow suit to remain successful, that’s the view of Koenraad Witteveen, HR Manager at HZPC Holland. ‘Everything begins with values. Values are the starting point for making the right choice, for innovation and for future success.’

Remove that brake

Many companies are curbing their own development without realising it. The reason is the way we have learned to handle management. A way that’s not working any longer," is Koenraad Witteveen opinion. "Old management thinking is about determining objectives, formulating steps, taking actions and monitoring. It’s exactly because of this type of management, which has brought us growth and prosperity, that it’s so difficult to change to a different approach. But the world around us is changing so rapidly that the old approach has us pursuing objectives that are now outdated. Moreover, you need more than a step-by-step plan to motivate your staff. It’s much more a joint awareness of what you want your company to be."

“Companies must enable their employees to utilise their talents and give them space to make their own choices and to develop initiatives”

Value-driven approach to working

Koenraad Witteveen: "In the industrial era, people worked in the factory that happened to be in their village. They were told what to do and how to do it. Nowadays, we choose ourselves where we want to work. We want to utilise our talents and contribute to the entirety as a professional. Companies must enable their employees to do so and give them the space to make their own choices and to develop initiatives. The result will be that they can see things from another person’s perspective, think along and join in with others. Jobs are getting more variable and subsequently more pleasant. There will be new ideas, opportunities and innovation.

It’s the company’s responsibility to stimulate this process by creating the right framework, whereby values provide the basis. Everything that’s important for the company is there. Of course, not everyone likes change. But it can be exciting as well to let go of boundaries and certainties. But if employees apply the company's values when they are making choices, nothing can go wrong."

Do values really add something? Read a Guardian poll about values in the workplace*

More successful organisations

Values too soft? Let’s talk about euros! Companies with a value-driven corporate culture, do demonstrably better. This was recently confirmed by a new study by Deloitte. Read about it in this report

Three tips to get going

  1. As a company, have a clear story. Know your objectives and promote them consistently.
  2. Coach people in dealing with their free choices.Invest in people. Help them see beyond boundaries.
  3. Don’t judge people on task level but on results. Many big companies are still into old management thinking. You can see that in their control mechanisms. Be critical of what you assess and think hard about what you are aiming for.
If you set values for yourself, you never make a wrong choice.

HZPC & values

HZPC wants to be an innovative organisation, which is why it wants to create an environment for its employees that stimulates them into developing their talents and their ambitions. An example of how HZPC does this is its commitment to springboard jobs. In doing so, HZPC not only looks at a person’s experience and position, but first and foremost at talent and competences. As a result, the internal advancement is relatively high, although the jobs within HZPC vary a great deal, research, sales or production, for example. By continuing to stimulate internal advancement, HZPC keeps its staff motivated and challenged as a result of which they continue to work for the company with pleasure.

Five reasons why companies need to change

Lost battle

A hundred-year-old sad example from the First World War clearly underlines why it’s important to give discretionary powers to those that do the work.

The English and French had thought up the plan to create a way through the German line by concentrating as many explosions as possible on one point. The objective was to eliminate all the German soldiers in that area after an intensive and prolonged bombardment. It would then only be a matter of moving in through the resulting corridor.

But it was the English and the French that were killed in great numbers on that day. What went wrong? The plan was properly executed but, unfortunately, it had not achieved the intended effect. Many Germans were still in their trenches so the English and French who left their trenches became an easy target. Reports from the battlefield were sent to the army commanders. Their solution? Send more men to the front…

Does your company behave like the English and the French back in those days? Do they fall back on what they think works? Or do they really listen to one and other and is there room for new ideas and innovation?