Some may disagree with me here, but I think it’s pretty easy to make people happy.
Obstacles may pop up once in a while, but on the whole, most people will flourish with the right attitudes and support network around them.
However, it’s one thing keeping a smile on people’s faces, but it’s a whole different kettle of fish getting a group of people to work together in harmony, especially while staring down the barrel of a global crisis.
There is a particular onus on businesses to meet this challenge. The solution? Company values that speak to your team as individuals. Here’s why.
Company values are your business’ anchor
We’re living in strange times. With everyone adjusting to this new normal, businesses have been forced to evolve.
But with change comes a multitude of risks. Anxiety is at an all-time high, search terms have proven productivity is diminishing and imposter syndrome is creeping into our minds, jeopardising our workforce at a time when we need them more than ever.
This is where company values come in.
Company values are your employees’ safe haven. When implemented correctly, it gives them that much-needed reassurance that you, as their employer, will support them through the good and bad.
Sadly though, my experience with corporate values has generally followed one of two paths: either cringeworthily embarrassing, or non-existent (or, worse, completely contradictory).
Either way, there’s always been a common denominator: the values were dictated from the top.
In my opinion, this approach was self-defeating because they were negating the very purpose of having values in the first place — to encourage unity and create purpose. People need to feel as though their opinions, wellbeing, and views matter.
By feeling like a missing piece to a forever incomplete puzzle rather than valued as a member of a strong collaborative effort, they will ultimately look to take their skills elsewhere – the last thing any people-oriented business wants, especially in the economic climate we all face.
Establish values that are simple but flexible
So what’s the best way to establish business values that really work and, more importantly, that your team believes in?
The answer is simple: rather than expect individuals to live the values you tell them, focus your energy on bringing out values that live within them already.
Keep them simple. Keep them flexible.
What matters most to your team now? It’s a constant evolution. However, values must become an integral part of everything you do and every decision made, while your vision continues to keep your team focused because they all helped to shape it, through the good and bad.
Seeker values are our team values
At Seeker Digital, our values are a reflection of the agency, both as individuals and as a collaborative whole.
We began with a simple questionnaire, team-building exercises and business-wide conversations to understand what we collectively valued above all else. At the same time, they provided a platform for open discussion about what really mattered to our team, and served as a stepping stone towards identifying what Seeker is, has been, and will continue to be about.
These exercises also helped us understand the various personality types we had within Seeker. Our diversity is our lifeblood, and it’s important that our values reflect that variety. Seeker is the sum of its parts, and our values facilitate and pay service to that.
No overthinking. No ticking corporate boxes. Just person-led values that tap into the essence of what Seeker is about.
Communication and trust make us stronger
The truth is we’re not all going to be the best of friends, and that’s okay. We’re all beautifully unique — we work and think in a variety of different ways which in itself creates value.
But by listening, you can learn more than you can alone, and by learning about your business from different perspectives you can lead everyone together as one.
By learning to trust in the judgment of our teams we become stronger, which in turn generates a loyal and dedicated collaboration for clients and customers alike. It protects the wellbeing of your team because every decision will wholeheartedly be based on the values they support.
Rather than looking to insincere advice on how to thrive in the workplace or an online guide on how to make it through a crisis, let’s look to each other instead. In a time when we value connection more than ever, it is other people who will pull us through.