Values define standards, behaviors, and beliefs. Over time values evolve as people learn, grow, and develop. This is no different for a company. When GroundTruth was founded in 2009, our values represented the fundamental beliefs and guiding principles on which the company was built. They were vital to establishing a sound business and work culture that allowed us to serve our clients and achieve our goals. Over time as our company evolved, it became clear that our values needed to evolve as well.
Our company is very different today than it was 9 years ago. We now employ more than 400 employees across 15 global offices and service 21 countries worldwide. As a result, my team launched a project in early 2018 to define a new set of core values that better represented the company we’ve grown into today.
Before we could begin discussing new values, we needed to first ensure we were aligned with our goals and objectives. There was no point in developing new values if we didn’t understand what we were trying to achieve and why we were trying to achieve it. We did our research and reflected internally to identify the following goals that needed to be at the forefront of this project:
- All employees at the company must know, understand, and believe in our values.
- Values are a true reflection of who we are and who we want to be. They should be values that we strive for, but are achievable and not overly ambitious, as we need to ensure employees can connect with them.
- Values should be easy to identify in action and should be represented by current employees who embody them.
- Values are enforceable internally, whether it be through HR, employee programs, and internal trainings, as well as externally. Our values should be present on our website and social channels, and through external interactions with clients, partners, and potential job candidates.
- Values guide how we treat each other. They guide our decisions, our hiring strategy, our employee development, and our company’s leadership style.
Every employee contributes to our culture and DNA. It was critical that we didn’t refresh our values in a silo and needed to include employees from each part of the business. People Operations and Marketing led the initiative, but hosted multiple brainstorm sessions and focus groups across global offices and departments to ensure we got it right. Core values naturally emerged, and it was exciting to see how strongly employees felt about them.
The new values we identified reflect who we are today, and who we want to be in the years to come. Our employees connect and believe in them — and we believe our client will connect with them too.
**Drum roll please**
Our New Company Values
We are Passionate. At GroundTruth, we care deeply about our roles and the work we do every day. We are excited and enthusiastic about location, helping our clients make an impact, and improving the marketing experience for consumers.
We are Relentless. As a company, we are driven and determined, and strive for nothing but the best. We believe in ourselves and in each other. We never give up and persevere through challenges.
We are Respectful. We treat each other with respect and bring out the best in one another. We promote a culture of integrity, fairness, and empathy — always.
We are Trailblazers. We are innovative, we lead the way, and we don’t settle for status quo. We work together to forge our own path, as a company and as a team.
The combination of the four values is key. They each represent a key part of our DNA, but all four are interconnected. For example, relentless is the only legacy value that we kept, but being relentless means nothing without respect. Respect is now our ground rule. If you’re not being respectful, you’re against who we are and what we believe in.
Another lesson we learned through the process was to choose values that we believed in — not just values that fit into an acronym that is easy to remember. It was very tempting and we tried a few acronyms, but it only resulted in values feeling forced or inauthentic, and we knew they wouldn’t resonate with our employees.
Passionate, Relentless, Respectful and Trailblazer are all core values that reflect who we are as a company today. As we look to the future and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead, we’re confident that our new company values are just what we need to remain ambitious and resilient as the leaders in location. We’re on a mission to do right by our team members, partners, and the industry as a whole, and with these new values in place, I know the best is yet to come.