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Balanced Valuecard®:
A Reliable Assessment Tool for Company Culture Developments, Mergers and Due Diligence Procedures

Personnel and organisational development is often heavily bound up with company culture: the individual employee always acts with respect to the social context, of which he is a part. The organisation on the other hand must be able to rely on the motivation of all of its individual employees in order to guarantee its performance. This in turn depends on their motivation; the real 'motor' of the company.
Against this background, company culture has two central tasks. Firstly it must keep the 'motor' running as well as it can and secondly it must ensure that its energy isn't just wasted in so much hot air, but is bundled, coordinated and oriented so that maximum employee performance is achieved for the benefit of the company's own efficiency.

These ideas form the basis of the Balanced Valuecard (BVC) as a concept of company culture:
• Modern motivational theory based on meaning-centred psychology and neurobiology is at the fore front of this concept.
• The target quantity or results of the BVC is, and this interests businessmen and women the most, the quantitative, precisely-definable motivation of employees (see Chart 1).

The cornerstone of the BVC's motivation theory, which is founded on sound theory and has been empirically tested, is:

Whosoever demands performance, must offer their employees meaning and appreciation!

Just how much this applies to a company and the associated motivation, is determined by the BVC as an Assess¬ment Tool using employee polling.

The core questions are:
• What sources of meaning and appreciation can be found in the company?
• How well do they function according to the view of the employees?
• How do they affect the motivation of employees?

In order to place these questions on a systematic footing the Balanced Valuecard proceeds along the same lines as the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). Principally, the BSC always works with the same four perspectives, namely, an innovations perspective, an internal perspective and a customer perspective; these all precede the financial perspective. They demonstrate indicators of the financial performance of a company. Similarly, the BVC distinguishes between nine possible sources of meaning and appreciation as human being within a company, all of which could affect employee motivation.

They are the following areas:
1. Leadership / top management
2. Mission, vision and employee as well as custom-focused values
3. Customers
4. products/services
5. Market position of the company
6. Social standing of the company (reputation)
7. Shareholders
8. (Internal) communication
9. Employee disposition

The nine areas mentioned above offer assistance in determining the sources of meaning and appreciation within the company; in a way they are like a wide rake with which to gather systematic data.

Chart 1: The principal concept behind employee polling of the Balanced Valuecard (example from a research project) Source: Anker, H., Balanced Valuecard. Leistung statt Egoismus, Bern, 2010.

However, each firm possesses its own company culture. Therefore it is not always possible to define them according to the same nine areas. This is accounted for by the BVC during analysis of polling data. Motivational factors are individually identified for each company and set with respect to the target variable motivation (see Chart 1).
The Balanced Valuecard illustrates just where you stand in terms of company culture development; a large declared variance apropos motivation, as shown in Chart 1, means that you can be sure that you will be in a position to control motivation using the identified factors – making it a significant quantity for the management.

Calculation of the strength of motivational factors and the appreciation of employees regarding how well these performance factors have been integrated in the company gives rise to a cockpit, representing the most important characteristics of company culture development at the top management level (see Chart 2).

This strategic cockpit can be broken down at the operative level (Chart 3). The degree of motivation and the nature of the performance factors can be represented for individual business units and for their business units right down to the team level. This offers precise information about which steps to increase performance will show results in which teams. On the basis of a clear diagnosis it is possible to determine which measures are most effective. The concept of the Balanced Valuecard arose from practice and was developed for practical application. That's why it is streamlined, focused, systematic, transparent, easily controllable, effective, economic and customisable to suit all needs.

Chart 2: Motivation factors according to the strength of their effect and the level of their grading (Minimum grade = 1, maximum grade = 10); (example from a research project).

Chart 3: Distribution of motivation and their factor characteristics according to business units (example from a research project). Aside from company culture development, it is also suitable for mergers and for siting in due diligence procedures. The length of projects for medium sized companies is around 10 weeks.

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