Workplace Values: Are you Helping or Hurting your employees?
By: Kimberly Ricketts, Project Coordinator
I had a moment at my old job that, while I wouldn’t realize the significance of it until later, I now consider a turning point in my professional career. There is something about sitting in your cubicle, exhausted and defeated by a group presentation gone awry, that makes a person wonder:
Modern technology allows me to accomplish tasks quicker, so why is it that my coworkers and I fell short when there are so many different ways to accomplish our goals?
Two months prior, my team had been jazzed about our idea. Everyone jumped in on planning and made it clear that they were eager to contribute. I thought we could do no wrong because our team was a great blend of talents – creativity, personality and different points of view. It was the perfect mix to deliver something amazing, or so I thought.
As the planning and execution began, our group mentality faltered. Instead of partnering together to get the project back on track, we became frustrated by each other’s small mistakes. As the deadline approached, I scrambled to keep a project I believed in on-track. In the end, no one was fully invested – and while we were able to present our idea, the final product was only satisfactory. The distractions overcame our talents. Our project was passable when it could have been phenomenal.
So why was our group not able to come together to accomplish our goal?
Believe it or not, I found the answer at a different job.
When I started working at Forte Interactive, I was introduced to their five core values: Innovation, Empowerment, Personality, Partnership and Shazam! The introduction didn’t happen overnight: There is a rigorous hiring process that Forte’s leadership has implemented to make sure each employee fits our culture. Utilizing this interview process, Forte is able to attract intelligent people with very different talents.
More than a “checklist” for hires, each member on the Forte team – as well as the company’s overall mentality – embodies those five values. And I could see that even in my first meeting of the team prior to being hired.
Personality was prevalent from the start: Software developers wield toy axes to “chop through” software issues, and weekly yoga sessions keep employees relaxed and active.
A company-wide mindset of innovation results in countless conversations centered on thoughts like: “That project was great, but how could we make it even better and more efficient?”
This one is perhaps my favorite. When issues arose in the middle of a task or project, team members, sometimes from different departments, rallied together to iron out the issue and learn from it to keep the project on track and to its full potential. It is a huge encouragement to see employees have each other’s backs.
Forte’s culture really makes it hard to feel like a new employee. During my first week, I was empowered to research and develop solutions that would address longstanding issues. The trust they had in me was incredibly rewarding. My ideas mattered and my skills were utilized to help my coworkers move the ball down the field.
More than an awesome catchphrase, I witnessed entire department’s band together to tackle massive projects that benefitted our clients. These undertakings ranged fromdeveloping a Super Admin tool for our software to creating an entire online store add-on for our RacePartner software, and required coworkers to go above and beyond their normal workload. The results were fantastic and encouraged coworkers to seek out opportunities to support one another and take our company to the next level.
It was so refreshing to me to not only see a company talk the talk when it comes to mission, vision and values – but that they walk the walk, too. It was a no-brainer for me to join the team once I saw the company’s commitment to its employees and clients.
Our core values allow us at Forte Interactive to deliver such powerful results and products. Our values seek to bolster our teammates’ strengths and accommodate the inevitable mistakes so a team with diverse talents can work in sync to produce a synergistic product.
At previous jobs, there were no core values, or they were never championed by leadership– and that’s vital. Having a values system that is embraced and practiced by your leadership team is key to a successful company and happy employees. It has to be a top-down approach – otherwise, no one will follow the values, and all you’ve done is waste trees printing value posters that no one follows.
I now work for a company that is awesome! Aren’t you tired of working for one that isn’t?
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