The UN’s new Values and Behaviors – Drivers for Culture Change – How to get it right.

The UN Secretary General recently introduced the new “UN Values and Behaviors” as part of efforts to adjust the UN’s organizational culture towards something that is being referred to as “UN V2.0” an upgraded United Nations Organization which aims to embrace and adopt as the DNA of our organization the values of  “Inclusion”, “Integrity”, “Humility” and “Humanity”.


Multiyear research by MITSloan into corporate culture provides for some great insights into what distinguishes good organizational culture from bad ones in the eyes of employees.


Read the article here:



The 10 Elements of Culture That Matter Most to Employees


  1. Employees feel respected. Employees are treated with consideration, courtesy, and dignity, and their perspectives are taken seriously.
  2. Supportive leaders. Leaders help employees do their work, respond to requests, accommodate employees’ individual needs, offer encouragement, and have their backs.
  3. Leaders live core values. Leaders’ actions are consistent with the organization’s values.
  4. Toxic managers. Leaders create a poisonous work environment and are described in extremely negative terms.
  5. Unethical behavior. Managers and employees lack integrity and act in an unethical manner.
  6. Benefits. Employees’ assessment of all employer-provided benefits.
  7. Perks. Employees’ assessment of workplace amenities and perks.
  8. Learning and development. Employees’ assessment of opportunities for formal and informal learning.
  9. Job security. Perceived job security, including fear of layoffs, offshoring, and automation.
  10. Reorganizations. How employees view reorganizations, including frequency and quality.


Over the last few years the UN Embarked on a broad management reform aimed at making the organization more agile and nimble by decentralizing decision making through extensive delegations of authorities.


Creating the UN V2.0 through an adjustment of the culture may not be sufficient however, particularly as we continue to see old hierarchies persist, oversight and compliance of the delegations being inadequate and a personnel structure that is antiquated, dating back to the early sixties which stifles career growth and opportunities.


It’s time for a unified personnel structure as part of UN V2.0, one that does away with artificial barriers between types of staff such as “GS”, “FS”, and “P” staff. A structure that is able to identify and promote talent while also attracting young talent into our “greying” organization.


The UNFSU as part of UNISERV submitted a discussion paper last year in the HLCM which outlines this idea, attached for your reading pleasure.


Let’s be bold, let’s be transformative and maybe create a UN.V2.1 – which has both the culture and structure that “leaves no one behind” and will make sure that we are “fit for purpose” into the future.


Kind Regards,

Mark Polane

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