Company values ensure that business operations are always aligned with the company vision. They help bring team members together. They serve as both a compass to take companies where they want to go and prevent from whatever is holding back progress. At Accedia, we have always been guided by core values and believe they have played a key role in celebrating exceptional 10 years. Thus, in this article, we share more about our values and why they are important to us. We also go through the steps we took to define and integrate them in our daily work.
WHAT ARE COMPANY VALUES AND WHY THEY MATTER TO ACCEDIA?
Company values are a set of principles and beliefs that an organization creates as guidance to success. All renowned organizations have strong company values that are shared by the team. Companies with strong company values achieve better financial performance. They have highest employee retention and greater sustainability.
Five core values influence the identity of Accedia, embody who we aspire to be and shape our culture. These are agility, growth mindset, professionalism, collaboration, and fun. Тhese core values reflect what we stand for and give everyone a sense of responsibility. They lay the foundation of both our internal and external communication. From guiding decisions by the company leadership through enabling sales to better present our services to helping HR build an employer brand that attracts like-minded professionals. Overall, the company values provide everyone within the team with a unified ethos. They help set clear goals to realize our mission and vision.
HOW TO DEFINE AND KEEP YOUR COMPANY VALUES ALIVE?
It’s important to note that company values are not something that is set in stone. They can shift over time, especially today with the transition to remote work and business transformations. With the evolution of Accedia, our values have evolved too. Following our growth and hybrid work model, we refined our values and have recently made our unwritten value ‘fun’ official. Therefore, in the next lines, we share the steps to not only define your company values but deeply integrate them into your culture.
BRAINSTORMING YOUR COMPANY VALUES
Тhe first step is to make sure that choosing your core values is a collaborative effort. Bring team members from different seniority levels, roles, departments, and personalities together. For example, we organized several brainstorming meetings to identify the values that reflect our growth and support our vision. The ones that are true and unique for everyone in the group. During these brainstorming meetings we assigned facilitators who challenged the conversation. They asked key questions, such as “Who we are?”, “What makes us stand out from competitors?” “Why people choose to join the company?”, and many more.
VALIDATING YOUR COMPANY VALUES
After writing down everyone’s suggestions, cluster similar ideas and group synonyms together. Then rank them, based on voting. The final selection needs to be put under questions with regards to whether they are realistic, simple, and easy to understand. Finally, present your selected values to a broader group of people and gathered feedback. For us, this validation played a crucial role in feeling confident in our company values.
CASCADING YOUR COMPANY VALUES
Once company values are documented, it is time to share them with your entire team. To make sure everyone lives company values, we organized workshops and had values ambassadors to promote them. The values were interactively explained through group tasks including only real-life scenarios. This assured great buy-in from everyone in Accedia. As a result, today this workshop is part of every new team member’s onboarding.
It also helps to have a list of all the company initiatives and upcoming events and a detailed plan for integrating them and keep them visible. Update your website, presentations and all supporting documents and content accordingly. Include them in your long-term communication strategy and use different channels and tools to spread the word.
PRACTICING YOUR COMPANY VALUES
Keeping your values alive is a matter of practice and, thus, integrating them is a never-ending process. So, we recommend creating incentives for team members to recognize when their mates have put values into use. For example, our existing digital Thank you initiative now allows us to associate a value when sending a note to a colleague. This enables the team to always do our work with the core values in mind. In addition to constantly creating opportunities to talk about your values, make sure to always keep them in front of your team eyes. We made them visible in our office and integrated them in our latest company merch and swag. All in all, our values ambassadors initiate sharing company value stories and ensure we praise those who live by these values.
WHAT ACCEDIA’S VALUES MEAN?
Now that we have talked about the process of defining and integrating company values, we will go through our 5 values to provide more context.
Endorse agility and see change as a driver for improvement.
At Accedia, we see the dynamics of the IT sectors, the crises, and the changing customer needs as opportunities. In the past turbulent times, we introduced “forever-hybrid” work model. It provide the flexibility to work from anywhere in Bulgaria plus 30 calendar days from the European union. Thus, team has the freedom to develop their career entirely remotely. Agility has also directed our work during the pandemic. We focused on supporting our clients’ innovation initiatives, taking an individual approach. Accedia is known for our ability to scale the talent capacity up and down, according to business demand. We also passed on our knowledge and supported a number of clients to go agile in executing their projects and overall operations.
Build a growth mindset and continue learning and developing.
Another common trait of our people is the desire to constantly learn and develop. We provide opportunities for professional growth from any country in Bulgaria. Our Career Kick-start program has been developed for those without experience but with an affinity for programming. 70+ people have already completed it and started their careers. Specializations include Quality Assurance, DevOps, and front-end software development. Our dedication to growing talents has also been recognized by the Employer of Choice Awards 2022.
Nurture collaboration, both within the team and with clients.
The culture to share knowledge and work together is nurtured on the inside and is a key principle to live by in Accedia. Great example is our Innovation Development Center that supports the realization of the team’s pioneering ideas. IDC helps develop advanced technology expertise and product development knowledge. It also unleashes leadership potential and promotes cross-team skills sharing. Additionally, the aim of the company is to be open and transparent. Since the company creation, the leadership encourages discussion and exchange of ideas. This includes meetings in various formats, such quarterly company breakfasts and “Ask the Partner” panel. In the event of COVID 19 lockdown, we had briefing sessions weekly to keep everyone in the loop of potential risks and changes.
Point out solutions, not problems, with true professionalism.
The attitude towards challenges is another key differentiation of the company. Our team is not only engaged in delivering software projects but also put themselves in the clients and their customers’ shoes. This enables them to proactively suggest solutions to addressing bottlenecks. From building the right software development team through mapping road for future solution development to recommendations for improvements, based on long-term business goals. What’s more, regardless of how small or large a project is, Accedia assigns an Engineering Manager with solid technology background. They maintain day-to-day communication with the client and the team’s professional development. Individual sync-up meetings are conducted quarterly to discuss everyone’s career journey.
Make friends, create memories, and have fun.
Until recently ‘fun’ was the value that had been actively preached but not yet made official. The facts are that Accedia wouldn’t be the same without our strong team spirit. Work relations here grow into friendships that last forever and having fun while we grow is integral part of our success. Many initiatives like our internal radio, for example, allow us to get to know each other better. Team bonding is easy with all the social events we organized – Beer Wednesdays, themed parties, the coolest team buildings, sports competitions, and more.
From our experience, company values play a significant role in our growth. They have helped form a common understanding of the principles and beliefs and achieve our mission and vision. They impact the way each of us think and help us attract talent whose minds are wired similarly.
If these values are important for your business too, we want to be part of your project! Get in touch with us and see how far our partnership can take you!