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GTP20: Why every company should have values to live by - and how to implement them

Digital Glue

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce as part of the 2020 Growth Through People campaign.

Growth Through People is the Chamber’s annual campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity and grow through improved leadership and people management skills. In 2020 this involves 8 free workshops taking place between 2nd March and 27th March, culminating in a full-day Growth Through People conference on 2nd April. In addition, throughout the campaign the Chambers will be publishing thought leadership podcasts, videos and blog content such as this.

Thanks to our Headline Sponsors – Prime Accountants Group, Aston University, Curium Solutions and CIPD - all workshops are free to attend. Interested readers can find out more and register to attend Growth Through People workshops here, and the Growth Through People conference here.

Why bother with values?

Values are vital for a variety of reasons. One big reason for having values is ensuring employee retention and recruitment. Employee turnover is a major issue for any company, big or small, and strong values can be extremely effective for employee retention.

A happy team, with a clear goal of what the company expects from them, is the first step to success. Having values that are unique to you as a company and what you stand for, gives your team something to strive towards. On the other side of the coin, it also helps you to hire the right people, and create a team that lives and breathes these values.

Not only that but establishing values for your company is key to giving it personality. They give clarity on what you’re about to prospective clients, allowing you to set up shop and say ‘this is us, and this is how we do things’.

Team lead or Leader lead values?

Your values should always be considered by the team, however, the leader should always have the final say. When I started Digital Glue, we were a team of three, and one of the first things we did was implement values as a team. I did this by writing my own list of values that I wanted to implement into the business, and then asked the team to do the same, without showing them mine. I then correlated my list with theirs and the matching values we had were the values we took forward.

As a business owner, it's important that you yourself believe in your company's values, and believe them to be right, not only for your business but for you. If you don’t, you’ll find it harder to adapt and believe in these values. You should always allow your team to have input, however, values are an important part in deciding what direction your company is going to take.

How do you live the values?

When it comes to implementing and living these values, there are a number of different ways you can do this. At Digital Glue, we’ve painted our values on the walls so we can always refer to them in situations, using the values as a guide to get to our end goal. We also have a weekly values award that we introduced to highlight when a member of the team lives by the values. The award is picked by the previous week's winner and is important as it really makes the team think about our values and who’s living them.

This is the difference between a company and a one-man-band. There isn’t a single great company in the world that doesn’t have a set of values for good reason. One person can have their own values and in turn their own work ethic. When you have a team or a number of teams around you, you need everybody to be on the same page, and all working toward the same goal.

It’s important to always stick to your values, as these are a company's principles. A good value is timeless, and you shouldn’t need to change them as you grow. As you grow, you might need to think about the specific behaviours that represent those values, however, your values should be consistent, and if you feel that you aren’t achieving said value, then you should strive to achieve that.

To find out more about Digital Glue and how our values help us serve clients well, click here.

Javan Bramhall 
MD and Founder
Digital Glue