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When we judge the behaviour of people we know, we are often looking for signals that they are genuine. Do they actually mean what they say? Are they acting with the best of intentions? Or do they have some kind of ulterior motive?

What’s interesting is that we make many of the same judgments about businesses and organisations. Some companies may profess to hold certain values and we want to believe them. But we have nagging suspicions. Might they be making statements that simply generate good PR? Can they prove to us that they’re not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk?

As part of my Master’s in Occupational and Business Psychology, I investigated the role of corporate values in influencing choices of prospective employees. What’s clear from the existing studies is that it’s really healthy for organisations if their values and those of their staff coincide – something referred to as ‘value congruence’. But in my focus group research, I was picking up another interesting issue. People sometimes had a sense that there was a mis-match between an organisation’s stated values and the reality on the ground.

Increasingly, as consumers and employees, we want evidence that businesses mean business when it comes to climate change or in their response to major social movements such as #metoo and Black Lives Matter. If you’re an energy company, forget the ‘greenwash’. Demonstrate what real-world steps you’re taking to reduce dependence on carbon and embrace renewables. If you’re a media company which claims to be taking racial injustice seriously, how come all your board members are white?

Thankfully, there are many businesses and organisations whose commitment to new ways of working is genuine. They understand the responsibility we all share to create a more human capitalism and that their future success and profitability is tied up with taking the leap. At GEM, we have a particular interest in partnering with these organisations and helping them to prosper through effective branding, design and communication.

If you’re walking the walk, we’re keen to walk alongside you.

 

Phil Woodford

 

 

When we judge the behaviour of people we know, we are often looking for signals that they are genuine. Do they actually mean what they say? Are they acting with the best of intentions? Or do they have some kind of ulterior motive?

What’s interesting is that we make many of the same judgments about businesses and organisations. Some companies may profess to hold certain values and we want to believe them. But we have nagging suspicions. Might they be making statements that simply generate good PR? Can they prove to us that they’re not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk?

As part of my Master’s in Occupational and Business Psychology, I investigated the role of corporate values in influencing choices of prospective employees. What’s clear from the existing studies is that it’s really healthy for organisations if their values and those of their staff coincide – something referred to as ‘value congruence’. But in my focus group research, I was picking up another interesting issue. People sometimes had a sense that there was a mis-match between an organisation’s stated values and the reality on the ground.

Increasingly, as consumers and employees, we want evidence that businesses mean business when it comes to climate change or in their response to major social movements such as #metoo and Black Lives Matter. If you’re an energy company, forget the ‘greenwash’. Demonstrate what real-world steps you’re taking to reduce dependence on carbon and embrace renewables. If you’re a media company which claims to be taking racial injustice seriously, how come all your board members are white?

Thankfully, there are many businesses and organisations whose commitment to new ways of working is genuine. They understand the responsibility we all share to create a more human capitalism and that their future success and profitability is tied up with taking the leap. At GEM, we have a particular interest in partnering with these organisations and helping them to prosper through effective branding, design and communication.

If you’re walking the walk, we’re keen to walk alongside you.

 

Phil Woodford