Accountancy firm The Wow Company found that as the company grew, the visibility of company values suffered. For the first ten to twelve staff members, the values had been clear and no one had felt the need to talk about them explicitly. However, the business suddenly found itself hiring staff members who looked good on paper but didn’t share the same belief set.
Led by co-founder Paul Bulpitt, The Wow Company ran a company-wide exercise to define what Wow meant to each member of staff.
It prioritised the values that touched every aspect of the business, ensuring the values shaped their internal processes, client experience framework and HR system. The Andover-based company was keen to avoid putting mission statements above the door – as Bulpitt noted, these can feel fake – and instead focused on making them a natural part of working at the company.
To ensure the values remained front and centre, management also started a monthly all-hands meeting with staff. Each session’s dedicated to work that aligned with a particular value.
Since ingraining values across the company, Bulpitt believes there’s greater clarity in what’s being asked of staff members and that a set framework has made it easier for them to do their jobs.
The company has also seen improvement in recruitment. Rather than concentrating on technical aptitude, interviews now look at how well the candidate will fit in with its values and have a specific focus on how good they are at building connections.
“I think it’s all about a commitment to keeping values,” Bulpitt said. “You either do it properly or you don’t do it at all. You have to agree that what you do is going to be fully ingrained into the business and something you talk about. If you’re not talking about your values, how can you expect people to share them?”