I can’t see how your business can succeed if you don’t have values.
Sound dramatic? Well, it’s true.
One of the things I knew from the very start of Sixty Eight People was that I wanted to be different. To buck the trends of traditional recruiters, to innovate the sector, and to demand better for our candidates and clients.
This would have been impossible to communicate without values.
We’ve actually had two sets now. The first were wrote when I set up the business, and they were of course hypothetical. How I hoped the business would be. Created by me and posted online and in our training materials. They were ok. But far from brilliant.
During our second year of trading, we set about re-writing them. We were a team of people now, with a history. A short history, granted, but we knew who we were and what made us special. We knew what we wanted the world to know about us, and that these guiding principles were paramount to the success of any new team member who joined us.
The re-writing process was magical. A 3 hour creative explosion of words, feelings and thoughts. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it was easy.
And so our seven values were hatched, we like to shout about them a lot.
I sometimes fear that employers might think our values are bullsh*t, or meaningless. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
We reference them all the time, we seek out people who share them, and we reward actions and behaviours which represent them. They’re a framework for all our conversations – verbal and written. They feature in our people strategy, our marketing strategy and our operational processes.
Far from just words on a website – they create our culture.
Ultimately, if we live and breathe our values we can’t fail to create a great culture. If they become words on a wall, and our actions don’t reflect them, our culture becomes toxic.
So you can understand my surprise when employers don’t have clear values in place for their own people. How do their employees know what’s expected of them? How can they fully engage in a business when they don’t know what it stands for?
Throughout the sector, employers are seeking greater employee engagement right now. Our teams are craving purpose. I can’t think of a better place to start than showing, sharing, and living your values.