Jan 20, 2023
Values, mission, and vision are three statements that every company considers and defines, sometimes even before developing a product or service! However, in large companies, these statements are frequently not communicated to employees, and they end up being mere texts. If that’s the case for your company, you should change it now!
Values are vital, as they are the pillars of the company. Company values are the ethical and professional principles that guide employees' actions and behaviors both internally and externally. Each company's values serve as a compass to guide the evaluation of actions and determine what is acceptable, good, and unacceptable.
Company values are the ethical and professional principles that guide employees' actions and behaviors both internally and externally.
So, the first thing to do is to define them ✒️! For that, we should answer questions like:
By answering these questions, you will be able to list some of the values you want your company to have. Some examples of values are: loyalty, honesty, trust, inventiveness, accountability, simplicity, respect, value-centricity, etc. It’s important to note that it doesn't have to be an adjective or a word; you can use phrases that reflect these values as long as they are clear and concise.
Some examples of values are: loyalty, honesty, trust, inventiveness, accountability, simplicity, respect, value-centricity, etc.
Take a look at this article with examples of well-known companies to get you started.
In a previous article, we also covered company values and how they play into the company culture.
In big companies, the values are usually established by the human resources department or the board of directors. They are then set in stone in some company documents, brochures, or a hidden web page that are shared with employees on their first day and are not mentioned again.
In a start-up or small business, defining values (and sharing them with all your team) can be a valuable ally in understanding your company's goal and who you want on your team. If a person does not understand your company's values or their values are diametrically opposed to those of your company, they may not be the right person 👀!
Additionally, we shouldn’t forget our values once the selection process is done. As previously stated, values should govern how employees behave and also aid in the development of a company's culture and traditions. If, for example, transparency is a relevant value in your organization, you can't expect it to be done magically, you will need to look for tools to implement this transparency and make it part of your overall communication by establishing processes for it.
Defining values (and sharing them with all your team) can be a valuable ally in understanding your company's goal and who you want on your team.
Our co-founders defined our values at Gretel, which have always been a key factor in the selection process. In addition, our entire team participates in daily activities that support these values.
We explain our values and how we uphold them on a daily basis:
We are open-minded to different perspectives. We listen and we are empathetic, trying to understand the other side, even if we don’t agree, before discussing the topic and giving our opinion.
In this section, we can highlight Gretel's sales department actions as an example. They are not solely focused on prospecting, as one might expect. Inés Guerra and Álvaro Iserte work together every day to contact marketers in order to validate our business idea. In addition, we have several mentors who assist us in directing our actions.
At Gretel, we also conduct continuous internal feedback sessions, both with our direct managers and in our team-building sessions, which always begin with an hour of reflection on areas for improvement.
We get to the point; we are transparent, and brevity is our best friend. You're not going to find buzzwords, and you're not going to find us cold calling you or spamming you with shitty emails. We stay focused on the little things that impact getting us to our objectives.
Here, we could take a look at the marketing department. The main goal of the marketing department, with me leading it, is to be clear in all of its communications. If you look at our website, you'll notice that we're not trying to sell you anything complicated, and there's no fine print. We strive to be clear, direct, and sincere in all of our communications.
The opportunity is too big to sit and wait, so we must go fast and work hard while enjoying the ride. We are builders with a hands-on attitude, addressing issues directly and quickly.
We are passionate about our work and have fun during the journey. If we don’t enjoy it, why would we do it? We bring smiles into every conversation and try not to take things too seriously.
We can find examples from all departments, but the most important one is the product. Alex Huges, Victor Barberá, and Rutger William are working extremely fast to develop our tool, but they do not forget the basics: let's make it fast, direct, and fun. Each of them can choose the tickets they want on a weekly basis, and they have joint sessions at Alex's house on Fridays to put everything together!
As with any other early-stage startup, we have the odds against us, but we believe we’ll become a billion-dollar company, at least. We never take “no” for an answer, and we are true believers that there’s always a way to move forward, even in the worst situations. We let the creative side of our team members shine!
The entire team must be immersed in this state of optimism, but we can highlight Martí Gou, our co-founder, who faces investors, events, and presentations on a daily basis. In these events, he must compete against other magnificent start-ups both in terms of positioning and obtaining the necessary resources for the company. An essential characteristic that helps him do this is resilience—the ability to adapt to adverse situations with a smile.
When you talk to any of the Gretel members, their energy and positivity rub off on you (and I'm not saying that just because I'm one of them!). It is essential to not only have an open mind but also to be willing to be open to everything new in a positive way.
Even the smartest people know their limits, so be open to learning and sharing ideas. We spend time learning new skills unrelated to our regular projects and collaborating with other departments and companies. We are loyal to our values and the people we work with on a daily basis.
We are all Gretel’s owners; we work for ourselves, and we define our limits. Everyone has vital responsibilities and needs to share and take ownership of successes and failures. We constantly push for what we think is right, and everyone has a voice here.
To this end, we hold training sessions every two weeks on Wednesdays, during which a member of our team teaches the others about their job. For instance, e-commerce in small stores; how to use Hubspot for sales departments; or the actions and tools used by a marketer.
Furthermore, we devote 1 hour per week to training in some relevant aspect for each of us, so that new ideas emerge and we improve as professionals and as people.
We know it’s hard to keep these values in mind and make them your own, as you might have your own values 😔. As members of an organization, we must understand and internalize the company's values and make them our own, because having a team with aligned values will allow projects and initiatives to emerge more easily and be validated more quickly. That should always be our main goal!
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