Values: All fur coat and no knickers?
What are values?
From providing a framework for ethics and integrity, to motivating and inspiring employees, and adding an element of corporate social responsibility, there are loads of definitions of “what values are” and what they should do for a business.
For me though, having worked somewhere for over 10 years, I can honestly say that values should be what they are at Home. They should be real, honest, relatable and most importantly, lived!
At Home, our values are Family, Fun-loving and Fearless. Sure, the alliteration helps make them catchy, but ensuring that they all start with the same first letter really shouldn’t be the main focus when creating a set of values!
For us, Family means sticking together, supporting and caring for one another, and ensuring we always do the right thing by everyone. There might be the odd disagreement now and again, but that’s OK, it’s normal (well, it is in my family!), and ultimately it makes the group stronger in the long run.
Us Homies have always known how to party, so Fun-loving seemed an obvious value to choose. We’re marketeers, a group of talented people (and friends) doing great work for great clients, and agency life goes hand in hand with creativity and fun. From lunchtime ping pong, to Friday beers and our annual HomeFest summer party, we know how to let our hair down.
Our final value, and the hardest to live by, is Fearless. Someone recently said to me that being fearless doesn’t mean “to not have fear”, it means to have fear, but to bite the bullet and do the thing anyway.
At Home, if there is something that we don’t think is right, we speak up about it. We encourage people to try new things, to have confidence in their ability, and to push themselves every day. The fact that I am writing this blog is an example of me being Fearless, as it’s not something I ever thought I would do – but here goes!
So why does a business need values?
Values are so incredibly important to a business. They inform employees, and provide a guide for what’s right by the business. Family, Fun-loving and Fearless help me make decisions every day, because when I’m not sure about something, I think to myself “what would our values do?”, and then I adopt the personality of those three core beliefs.
Values cost nothing but give back in abundance, and having a strong set of shared values forms the basis of a business’ culture. Having people who speak passionately about the business and who will go above and beyond, will help bring a company to life.
However, it’s no good declaring your values without there being any substance to them. The key is getting people to buy into them, and really live them. I regularly get asked “why have you been at Home so long?”, and the answer is because I truly believe in our values, they are part and parcel of Home. They certainly aren’t “all fur coat and no knickers”!
If you don’t believe in your company’s values, challenge them, or maybe even think about coming to work for Home!