If I were an employee of Barclays, I would be very concerned right now. What if I don’t feel like abandoning my own ethics and adopting someone else’s? Apparently Barclays’ CEO has said that all employees must adopt a new code of ethics or go.
But suppose that I don’t mind changing my core values as a person in order to remain employed. What am I being asked to do? One of the ‘behaviours’ within the new code is: ‘Value sustainable progress as much as immediate achievements.’ Does this have anything to do with sustainability or not? It’s hard to tell.
And I might also be concerned that the recent scandals to hit the bank have mostly been about how Barclays treats its customers. So should I worry that Barclays’ old Quaker values included one about ‘fair dealing’, but the new ones do not?
I am reminded of Groucho Marx’s attempt at CSR: ‘These are my values. And if you don’t like them…well, I have others.’