Mission statements, company values, culture and vision … just clever buzzwords or something that can help to shape and grow a business? It can be tempting to create these things, put them in your staff handbook and then promptly forget about them! As Dataplan has grown, however, we realised the importance of having relevant and distinct company values that we could all get behind and weave into the fabric of the business.
We already knew what our strengths were. We get great feedback from our clients and there is a consistency around what they tell us we do well. But it can be tempting to impose value statements on staff and, as our people are at the heart of what we deliver, we knew we needed to get them involved and bought into any new values we launched.
We asked those at the ‘coal face’
It was important to us that we involved our teams in the process, so we carried out a series of workshops with all levels of staff, from senior managers to the newest apprentice. We mixed up the departments so we got very different perspectives. Our processors, for example, are heavily involved in the day to day tasks and in dealing with our customers, whereas our software developers are largely working on more long-term ‘big idea’ projects. We then spent time working through our strengths and weaknesses and what they wanted to see as our values.
Some stuff we knew, some was a surprise
The workshops were really enlightening. Yes, we heard some of the things we were expecting, but we also benefitted from some ideas we hadn’t considered before or realised were so important to our staff. It also allowed to see areas where we needed to focus on.
Six new values to shape our future business
Distilling the output from these workshops, and our customer feedback, into just six values made us think long and hard about what was really going to drive our business forward, whilst maintaining everything we loved about Dataplan now.
1) Innovate and think big
We challenge everything and look for ways to be ahead of the game
2) Stronger together
By sharing knowledge and working together we can achieve great things
3) Do whatever it takes
We empower people to find solutions not obstacles
4) Build long-term partnerships
Trusting and honest relationships with our clients and suppliers sets us apart
5) Passionate about what we do
When we are passionate about what we do, everything has more value
6) Invest in the best
We want the best people being the very best they can be By doing all this we can deliver brilliant solutions to our customers, provide brilliant service and develop brilliant people within the organisation.
This was presented to our full team recently and went down really well. Now we start to job of making sure we ‘live by’ and ‘live up’ to these values in everything we do. We believe company values are an important piece of our organisation and intend to capitalise on this work going forward. There is no dusty shelf waiting for these values!