How core values define a company
On The Measure Pod recently, we talked about what makes a good analytics consultant. I mentioned that beyond the technical skills and knowledge needed, we also look to use our company values to assess potential new additions to the Measurelab team. This prompted me to share a bit about what our company values mean to us, give some context on how we got to them, and how we use them.
Going way back, just for a minute, Mark and I started Measurelab almost 8 years ago to the day. We set out with a pretty simple mission: we wanted to create the kind of company that we would want to work for. So from the off, we wanted to do really great work with even greater people. We wanted to create a working environment that focussed on collaborative problem solving and continuous learning, and we wanted to do this with integrity and without pretence. We didn’t want to overpromise, underdeliver, or treat anyone in a way we wouldn’t want to be treated ourselves.
A few years ago, we did an all-company exercise to come up with a ‘working agreement’.
This was created by all of us (at that time) and was used to ensure we were all working together as we agreed we should. It worked because everyone contributed to it, and agreed to abide by it. It was like an internal social contract. Here’s what we came up with:
1 – Be open to constructive feedback
2 – Show enthusiasm and interest
3 – Accept and share failure
4 – Learn from it!
5 – Respect and empathise with all
6 – No questions go unanswered.
How company values drive behaviours
Mark and I would occasionally remind people why we’d started Measurelab and what was important to us at the time, but we realised that as well as the working agreement, we needed to have a clear set of company values. We had our thoughts on this, and these thoughts formed part of the emerging culture at Measurelab.
We wanted the whole company to feel connected to these values though. Just like with the working agreement, it needed to mean something to everyone. So, we had another one of our all-company workshops to brainstorm what would become our core company values.
These are not set in stone but they do represent what’s most important to us right now. If we change, they might change too – and everyone at Measurelab will be a part of that. They should evolve as we do: for the people, by the people.
“We are genuine and we do our best.“
This one doesn’t take much explaining: we ask people to try and do the right thing – to be honest with each other and do what is best for our clients.
A very recent example of integrity in action was when we told a client, who was asking for a data warehouse, that they didn’t need one to achieve their current goals. We didn’t think they’d see the ROI at this point in time and so advised against what might have been a profitable project for us.
“We strive to overcome problems.“
We all love to solve problems. It’s why we chose to work in digital analytics. Here are a couple of examples of tenacity in action from our Slack appreciation channel:
“Shout out for taking the time to show me how to approach a specific issue I had, and running through all the options with me. Showed me some cool tips and functions in BQ (which will make my life easier for other random stuff going forward!) Showed strong signs of tenacity, being determined to help me and get the solution!”
“Shout out for working TIRELESSLY for the past couple of months, keeping multiple plates spinning, and ensuring that our clients are kept happy. You are like a beacon of compassion at Measurelab. You do your job with a smile, bringing the whole team along with you, and keeping everyone motivated. Thank you for working so hard.”
“We assume everyone is trying their best and treat them kindly and with respect.“
Compassion is one of the values that seems baked into a lot of the feedback shared on our Slack appreciation channel, with people thanking others for going above and beyond to help them solve problems, and for being willing to share their knowledge so openly and readily. Reading these examples always puts a big smile on my face as this is exactly the kind of environment we set out to create.
“We continually seek to learn new things and see every task and interaction as a learning opportunity.”
We always look to hire people who are fascinated by the world of analytics and hungry to learn more – not just about the data and technology, but how they can be applied in the real world.
A recent example of curiosity that I had the joy of witnessing first-hand was seeing a colleague take on work that isn’t strictly within our core offering. It was another business unit within an existing client, and although it involved data analysis and reporting, they weren’t using website analytics data. This didn’t phase them in the slightest though, and they are now up and running with this work, really enjoying the variety of it, and delivering great work to a happy client.
Reinforcing our core values
We’ve recently stepped up our game in terms of talking about these values internally and linking them to our daily work. We now have a Slack channel for saying thank you, with the idea being that people will show appreciation and thanks to each other for demonstrating the company values.
We want to encourage, recognise, and reward the behaviours that reflect these values, without being too contrived. One of the things that I enjoy most at Measurelab is seeing these values demonstrated naturally by people in their everyday work and their interactions with both colleagues and clients.
This isn’t something to get complacent about though, so I know there’s more we can do to encourage everyone to live and breathe these values at Measurelab. We have some thoughts on this that we’d like to explore and experiment with in due course.
Company culture plays a huge role in career satisfaction, and nothing impacts culture more than a company’s values. If our values and what they mean to us strike a chord with you, then why not check out our current roles at Measurelab?