Viviane Harnois and Values, a golden duet

Viviane Harnois
Viviane Harnois has been the HR Director of ABN-Amro Bank in Luxembourg for the major part of her career – she is now consulting for the ATTF and she is widely recognized as the HR gourou in Luxembourg.




What are your essential values ?

How do you define for yourself what your essential values are, how do you know where to draw the line at what is acceptable, how do you show your employees, colleagues, suppliers and clients what you stand for and what is really important to you? This is one of the dilemmas of our time, especially in leadership positions. The system is weighted towards prioritizing for short-term results and immediate rewards, assessing your individual value, based on achieving your KPIs (key performance indicators). Where does this leave space for your individual moral compass ?

Are ‘good business’ and ‘ethics’ mutually exclusive ?

Today there is a longing to bring back integrity, humanity and humility into the workplace and the leaders of organizations hold the ultimate responsibility for this. It is not sufficient to put your company values on office walls and websites, it requires constant and consistent behaviors that demonstrate that we really “mean it “. There is recognition on many different levels that this must be the way of the future for sustainable business success.

Once leaders have discovered that being worthy of trust, being so strong that they can be humble enough to show when they don’t know or were wrong, have genuine humanity and respect for the people they lead, they realize that they will get the absolute best from their people and conquer hearts as well as minds. They will talk about their people as people, not resources, capital, FTEs, costs that are disposable at will.

No. Good, profitable business and humanity are not incompatible; on the contrary, they enhance each other. Happiness at work is not “touchy-feely-silly talk“, it is proven to breed success. Too many employees are disengaged, not giving their best or no longer able to give their best. Only true, heartfelt values and business ethics will ensure sustainable success.

It is actually quite simple if we remember the Golden Rule:

Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.
Confucious