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Part 6: corporate life and death > the value-led corporation

Chapter 44. the value-led corporation

How do you bond with gen e? More and better glue. Central to the demanding nature of employees is the notion of values. In the past, loyalty was basically bought. Job security, gradual progression up the hierarchy and a decent salary were offered by the employer. In return, the employee offered unwavering loyalty and a hard day's work. Now, values determine loyalty. "Every organization needs values, but a lean organization needs them even more," GE's Jack Welch says. "When you strip away the support systems of staffs and layers, people have to change their habits and expectations, or else the stress will just overwhelm them."

Among those companies which have sought to nurture a sense of values is Anglian Water. It formulated its vision and a values statement in 1998. The company's senior executives have since been travelling throughout the company to communicate directly with employees. "Stating the values was an acknowledgement of the changing nature of our business and that we needed to change the way we worked," says Anglian Water HR business manager Ian Plover. "We won't and can't do anything without the support and involvement of our employees." Plover — 23 years with the company — admits that loyalty is a question of belief. "I believe in what we do. There is a feeling of camaraderie in doing something for the community and a level of empowerment within the company," he says. "Though the days of a job for life have gone, people need a feeling of safety and of being led. They need to know that their pay is fair and reasonable and that they have a say. They need to feel ownership."


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