Since beginning the Best Place to Work Podcast, the importance of core values has become abundantly clear to us. But how do you get them if you don’t already have them? Thee of our expert guests weigh in about how to start drafting core values.
Get input from the team
When defining your core values, don’t forget to ask the people who matter most. That’s why when it was time for Alight Analytics to draft their guiding principles, co-founders Matt and Michelle turned to their team. Everyone was at the whiteboard when they asked one simple question: what do we want to be known for as an organization?
Ownership of the culture is in the hands of everyone, not just the leadership. That means that everyone has the pleasure and responsibility of deciding what the culture will be like, and everyone has a role in holding others accountable.
Alight’s six principles aren’t just between coworkers, either. They actively guide the company’s identity and are a part of everyone’s formal review process.
Alight Analytics Guiding Principles:
Study your strongest players
Academic Works helps connect students with scholarships, so it’s not hard for the employees to get behind the mission; many of them wish that something like Academic Works had been around when they were in school. As Academic Works began to grow, the founders wanted to preserve the positive culture they started out with. How to do this? They reverse engineered their core values.
All they had to do was figure out what was so great about their people. The leadership began by identifying the people at the company they liked working with most, thought about what qualities they possessed, asked themselves why they liked working with those people…and then the core values revealed themselves.
Academic Works core values:
- Kind and Respectful
- Obsessed with Customer Experience
Study yourself under stress
When they first started out, the team at Adage Technologies intrinsically knew what their core values were, but hadn’t identified them yet. As they encountered challenging business situations they found themselves agreeing again and again on how to deal with them. Issues are never black and white in business, and through each new challenge Adage’s core values floated to the surface over time.
Founder Roy Chomko sees the core values as drivers for how they act as a company. Since identifying their five values, the team at Adage has felt that they have a strong sense of who they are.
Adage Technologies core values:
- Be an ambassador
- Do the right thing
- Evolve and adapt
- Get it done
- Enjoy the journey