Some would say that shared values are the defining element of a community. They help us understand how we are alike and therefore why we should bond together. They explain to others what we believe in, and in doing so help our customers, colleagues and neighbors understand what they can expect from us. Finally, because values inform our behavior, they help us determine a course of action in the absence of policies, procedures and directives. For these reasons, we offer our statement of values.
Exceptional customer service is the hallmark and salient value of our division. We listen carefully to our customers to understand their needs, and we address them quickly and effectively. We go the extra mile to respond by providing better service than expected. Our ability to exceed customer expectations is the litmus test of our performance.
Continuous improvement is the sine qua non of excellence. Each of us therefore takes responsibility for continuously improving our services and products. We acknowledge that improvement is driven by learning and experience. Therefore, we attend classes, conferences and seminars, participate in professional organizations, read relevant journals and books, ask questions, and request help. We attempt to identify the best practices in our profession and to adapt them to the Colgate environment.
Exploring new ways of doing things more effectively and efficiently and trying them – running experiments – are the essential activities of improvement. Experimentation and risk-taking flourish when people are empowered and encouraged to do so. They also need to feel that risk-taking is safe. We create this environment by interpreting failure as a natural and predictable response to experimentation, and we communicate the acceptability of failure to those trying new things. Finally, we encourage and reward both and those with enough intellectual flexibility and vision to help them succeed.
Because our professional activities are complex and interdisciplinary, most of us work closely with others. We demonstrate respect for our colleagues, we help them accomplish their objectives, and we offer each other support. When we see that things could be done better, more quickly, or less expensively, we share this information with them and help implement improvements. By providing honest and specific feedback, we give our colleagues the information they need to improve their performance.
Every employee – indeed, every person – wants to feel valued by others. Some would say people need positive feedback and validation to feel psychologically healthy. By providing fair compensation, expressions of gratitude, and compassionate treatment to those in difficulty, we help our colleagues feel appreciated by us and our university; in turn, all of us are encouraged to produce our best work.
Our performance standard is excellence. We master the technical skills required to perform at this level, and our services and products reflect these skills. We look, act, and speak with professionalism. Our activities are strictly ethical, moral, and legal.
Colgate is a member of the Hamilton and Chenango Valley business communities. Our university no more exists in isolation than do we as individuals. We therefore listen carefully to our institutional, corporate, and civic neighbors and respond with concern, compassion, and equanimity. We seek out ways of incorporating their objectives with ours, helping them accomplish their objectives whenever possible and within the limits of our resources.
We prepare for decision making by gathering objective information and opinions.
What is Colgate, really? Our university isn’t some abstract entity external to you and me. It is, in fact, the faculty, staff and students – the people – who work and study here. Colgate can only be at its best when we are at our best. Each one of us, therefore, takes personal responsibility for making this institution a better place.
Each of us is responsible for preserving and appropriately managing Colgate’s resources. We strive to develop accurate and realistic budgets and to maintain our spending within those limits. We take all appropriate measures to safeguard university equipment, assets and property, and make efficient and appropriate use of technology.