We regularly celebrate the uniqueness of our culture. It is something to be proud of and we aim to build on it. Values do not equal culture but they are very much the foundation of DotActiv's culture.
We recently started a campaign to unpack the meaning and application of our values in greater detail. Without understanding what each word means, all you have are words strung together.
When you truly understand the meaning of the words, a sentence becomes more powerful. If you would like to read more about our first value - “We are passionate about our business” - you can read this article.
What are DotActiv's values?
Our values are the foundation and guidelines of our company. They are the key to our success, define who we are as a collective, set us apart from the competition, and underpin our vision and mission statements, business strategies, decisions, actions and behaviours as individuals.
When our directors sat down to define the values of DotActiv, they came up with 11. These company values form part of DotActiv’s core existence and are (always) top of mind while working towards our mission and vision.
- 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.
What value is on the agenda today?
We will be unpacking the definitions of our second value today which is:
“We do not tolerate poor performance.”
Now, let’s break the words down of our second value.
Do not tolerate
We don’t allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one dislikes or disagrees with) without interference.
A consistent failure to meet specified standards and levels of performance following a period of sustained support, development and investigation.
“We do not tolerate poor performance.”
Living this value
What do our employees say about how they live out this value daily?
Our training specialist, LeAnn Groenewald, explained to us how she lives out this value daily:
“Even though stating that we do not tolerate poor performance might be a bold statement, I do not believe that a single person was put on this earth to just be average,” she says.
“As a person, I am very hard on myself, so it is easy for me to resonate with this statement. I believe in giving my best at everything that I do in life. One of the statements that I have carried with me for years is ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. We all have something to contribute in life and in DotActiv as an employee. If we are not able to do this, we might be dragging our colleagues down.”
LeAnn goes on to say, “We have an extremely talented team at DotActiv. We are the ones that can help our teammates move forward. Poor performance is not something that happens in one day, it is continuous over a period of time. No one wakes up and decides that they are going to perform poorly that day. If you see a colleague struggling, why not be supportive? I encourage you to be that sustained support to your colleagues. Let’s help our team members move forward.”
Another colleague, Genevieve Daniell, also shared her perspective of how she lives out this value within DotActiv:
“At first glance, this value may seem intimidating. However, imagine if it was flipped around and was the complete opposite. What if one of our values was: ‘We do tolerate poor performance.’ Would we be proud to belong to a company that encourages poor performance? Probably not. Who is content with treating clients poorly, consistently producing work of low quality, never meeting deadlines and so on?”
“Essentially, if we didn’t have such a value, one could almost assume that performance is not that important to DotActiv; that we are content with being mediocre. But stating that we do not tolerate it allows both employees and our clients to be aware of the focus we put on performance, and they know what to expect from us. Employees and clients can feel a sense of pride knowing that they are a part of a company that values and delivers high performance.”
Genevieve continues to say, “This is also why we have certain performance measures in place because we want to assist all employees in performing at their best. For example, with our Quality Control measures - the goal is to always help and not to harm our employees. We want to assist as best as we can to ensure our performance is well-aligned to our vision - to consistently exceed the expectations of our customers, staff and shareholders.”
Bringing it all together
Every business relies on its employees to make it profitable. For this to be a reality, every member of the team needs to contribute, and remain motivated to accomplish their goals, and thus the company’s goals. This means that if an employee isn’t performing up to standard, it can affect the whole company.
But that doesn't mean that we just go around firing people when they don’t meet the standard. Instead, we will first try to understand why this person might be underperforming to ensure that we understand the root cause of the problem or issue. It's important to note that this is only after the person has been consistently failing to meet the desired standard.
As such, we would deal with this as it progresses and we will always try to change the behaviour together. If someone fails to meet the standards, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the end of the road for them, but rather that we want to help them turn it around into a success.
Of course, the first prize would be to change this behaviour from a natural team dynamic (I can see you are struggling, how can I help?). However, sometimes this may not be enough and further corrective action may be required.
One negative employee can drastically affect an entire team, leading to lower morale, reduced productivity, and a less-than-optimal office experience. That is why it is crucial to stay active in managing poor performance in a timely and efficient manner.
Ultimately, we should all be looking out for our team members and ensure that we help them along the way. This is especially true when we see that they might be struggling or not achieving their goals. We might not tolerate poor performance, but we do want to support our staff and see them succeed.
Interested in working at DotActiv? You can find out more about what positions are open here.