Let's be realistic: a business without core values isn't a business. How can you build a great team, deliver excellent customer service or foster innovation if you have not defined or embraced your values first? It's why we at DotActiv hold our values so close. Our values shape our culture and impact our business strategy. They also help us create a purpose, improve team cohesion and foster loyalty.
That begs a few questions such as:
How do we demonstrate a commitment to our values?
What happens when our colleague's values are not in line with DotActiv's?
What are our values, and how do we display them?
How do we care for our values as a collective?
In this article, we unpack all of the above questions to demonstrate an undeniable truth: we are committed to our values because they are essential to our future as a global company.
How do we demonstrate a commitment to our values?
Our company values reflect who we are and what we stand for, and give our colleagues a sense of responsibility. Therefore, every decision we make as an individual or a group must align with our values. Why? Because by living our values, we can bring our culture to life.
So how do we go about demonstrating our values?
Share our experience in our Friday 'Huddle'
Our Huddle is a meeting each Friday morning where the entire company gets together to discuss important topics, one of them being our values. During this get-together, we also celebrate milestones and birthdays and welcome any new colleagues.
Lead by example
We hold each other accountable. Anyone at any level of the business must display our values and remind others of how we should act out our values. It means that if you experience anyone acting against our values, no matter who they are, we expect you to speak up because we want to safeguard our values.
Sharing of resources
We publish weekly articles on a blog dedicated specifically to our company culture. You can read about who we are as a company, what we believe, how we act and what you can expect if you work for us.
The above are only a few ways we demonstrate our commitment. It is also worth unpacking the benefits because it explains why we spend our time on this.
It assists our colleagues in making the right decisions;
It helps our colleagues communicate better;
It has a direct impact on employee engagement and motivation;
It helps our clients understand what we stand for;
It helps attract and retain top talent; and
It helps us attract customers that share the same values or similar values.
What happens when our individual values are not in line with DotActiv’s values?
When we talk about ethics, values and behaviours, we realise there is a distinct difference between these terms, so it is worth unpacking them.
Beliefs lead to behaviours, and how leaders use consequences can shape behaviours and beliefs. It is worth pointing out that these consequences can be positive or negative.
However, focusing solely on consequences to change behaviours does not enable the real change that leaders would imagine when they set out to transform company culture. It is because individual values also play a role in how people behave.
Beliefs: a belief is an acceptance of a statement or claim as true. Depending on the circumstances and the individuals, beliefs can develop quickly or slowly, and individual experience plays a role.
For example, someone working for a manager with an established track record of providing clear direction and holding people accountable for their assignments is more likely to believe what their manager says than someone working for a manager who says one thing but does another.
Individual beliefs tend to be substantiated by facts, circumstances and experience. As a result, you can change beliefs by introducing new facts, changing your circumstances or developing your experiences.
Values are more deeply rooted than beliefs. Values reflect what you believe is essential in your life. Individual values include concepts such as caring, empathy and trust.
Of course, personal and company values may overlap or even become indistinguishable. This common ground between a company and personal values is where a leader has the opportunity to change a culture. Ultimately, values are what define your standards of behaviour. Since culture is the collection of expectations and norms that determine how a group behaves, values and culture are closely related.
How to change behaviour
Beliefs, behaviours, and consequences are closely related. In this relationship, consequences affect beliefs, which results in behavioural change.
The limitation of this approach to shaping behaviour is that people only have to believe the consequences will have an impact on them to affect their behaviour. In other words, they don’t have to believe that the desired behaviour is truly appropriate.
To illustrate this point, consider one of our values at DotActiv “We actively encourage, develop and share knowledge.”
Let's say you act against this value. You may feel like or believe in not sharing your knowledge with others for various reasons (a personal belief) but it will directly impact your behaviour (being seen as selfish or not wanting others to succeed), which leads to a negative working environment and poorer communication (consequences).
By understanding the consequences, your behaviour will change to comply with the value. That changes your belief system about sharing knowledge because perhaps a colleague will share their expertise with you in the future (behaviour), leading to direct benefits such as relationship building and trust (consequences).
If our values were not in place, we might have people pulling in all different directions, which stops us from working together to achieve the same goal.
DotActiv’s values and how we display them
Our company values are the beliefs, philosophies and principles that drive our business. They impact the experience we deliver and the relationship we develop with customers, partners and shareholders.
Our values also refer to the foundation and guidelines by which we live. These company values form part of DotActiv’s core existence and are (always) top of mind while working towards our mission and vision.
To achieve success for the business, you must honour your company values in everything you do and set the right example. It’s the only way you can build trust in the workplace. After all, you can't expect to ask your colleagues to follow the values set for your business if you don’t observe and integrate them into your daily work too.
At DotActiv, we have 11 core values, all of which are in no particular order. Neither are they placed in order of importance because they are all equally important. They are:
We are passionate about our business and promote a positive, energising, optimistic and fun environment.
We do not tolerate poor performance.
We strive to get it right the first time, every time and on time.
We regard change as a constant and adapt accordingly.
We value mutually beneficial relationships based on cooperative and collaborative teamwork.
We treat each other with mutual trust and respect and celebrate our differences.
We build long-term relationships with our colleagues and customers.
We openly demonstrate a commitment to fairness, integrity and ethics.
We actively encourage, develop and share knowledge.
We empower independent decision-making and encourage free thinking.
We understand profitability and the concept of a business within a business.
Caring for our values as a collective
It seems easier said than done, but at the end of the day, upholding our values - and taking them seriously - can be seen as the heartbeat of what makes DotActiv flourish. We need to hold each other accountable to defend our values and standards.
How do we ensure that? How do we cultivate an environment that cares for our values?
We talk openly about our values so that everyone understands them;
We use our interview process to find people who have similar values and hire them;
We seek feedback from our colleagues on the values;
We uphold, display and incorporate these values in our daily working life;
We communicate our values to new colleagues and relevant teams often;
We use our core values to empower our colleagues;
We fight for and defend our values - when colleagues are not displaying these values, we should motivate them to change their behaviour;
We uphold our values at all times; and
We always lead by example.
Company values can – and should – be a powerful asset. Not only do they explain to potential colleagues and customers what an organisation believes in, but they remind everyone of the preferred way of operating and achieving outcomes.
We didn't come up with DotActiv's values randomly. Instead, we considered each carefully to lay the foundation for our current and future success. They are in place for us to establish and maintain structure and have a healthy balance between colleagues, customers and shareholders.
Are you interested in joining the DotActiv and providing category management solutions to retailers and suppliers from across the world? We’d love to hear from you. You can read up about DotActiv, what we stand for and how we operate here or browse through our open positions here.