What are your company values?

Wednesday April 24, 2024

In this month’s Preventing People Problems podcast, host Tracey Hudson welcomed Rob Harrison and David Wilson of Glued Limited. Glued is a brand, design and marketing agency and they were here to talk about the power of well-thought-out company values.

How can you find your purpose and values? Is it a useful exercise for smaller businesses or is it best left to larger companies? And what are the benefits? The podcast explained all.


Finding your purpose

The podcast kicked off with a discussion about finding your purpose. Tracey observed that this is something that is tempting to wing for many people. David and Rob’s approach is driven by branding theory. Getting to the essence of your organisation, using that as a way of articulating what you stand for – why people (staff/customers) are drawn to you.

In branding you can then use this to inform your marketing messages. But you can also use it to define your company values.

Rob went on to explain that they have also woven some of Simon Sinek’s thinking (his famous book is called Start with Why) into their approach. Sinek uses three concentric circles with “Why?” in the centre, then How? and “What?” on the outside. He argues that most people/companies say “What” they do, when it would be much more powerful to say “Why” they do it first.

“Why?” is a more difficult question to answer, but it is the emotive driver to a person or business – and it helps you explain the “How” and “What”.

Glued Limited believe that whether you are the principal or a team member there should be a “Why” that connects you to the organisation. If you can find your “Why” it will help you achieve higher levels of motivation and retention. As an added bonus you can also use it in marketing.

Rob and David both shared their personal “Whys” as examples which helped bring the discussion to life.

Using values to add value

So, if you spend the time defining your values, what should you do with them and how can they help?

The conversation covered HR and beyond. For example, having clear values can be very helpful when you face adversity, using them as a guiding star to inform decision making.

But back to HR, and holding authentic values can be useful for recruitment, retention and motivation.

In terms of application, Rob described how he likes to see values shine through on an About page of a website, preferably with some real-world reference points to communicate their authenticity; for example in an origin story for the company. It is then also essential to weave them into any recruitment literature you produce.

Recruiting using values is highly likely to land you candidates who are more aligned with your company. In turn this should help motivation and retention because your team is genuinely pulling in the same direction. This is a major pay-off for the investment made in finding your values.


Find out more

You can listen to the full podcast here, and if you would like to explore your own values and how to use them effectively within your business, please contact your local HR Dept office.

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