Every company has a mission and a vision. They also have values, which are intended to speak to the heart and soul of the organization. At ApplyBoard, we have our mission and vision… and we HAD a list of values. Each one of these elements are important to our company, but our values especially should represent who we are.
What makes us different, in comparison to other organizations out there, is we truly believe in our values and the important role they play in our decision-making, how we approach the way we lead, and the behaviours we expect to see demonstrated by everyone who works here. As a Leadership Team, we recently took the time to look at our values and ask ourselves whether or not they spoke to who we are as a living and growing organization. Did they honestly represent what is important to us when we think about who we want to be? Did they resonate deeply with us? Were we proud to hold them up to the world and say, “this is what ApplyBoard is”?
The answer, if we’re being honest, was no… but what then? We’ve announced our values many times and communicated them in several ways. They’re even on our website; we can’t just change them! Companies don’t just go around changing their values. They’re supposed to be part of our foundation – a guide to who we are. We can’t just change who we are.
Or can we?
Our New Values
After much debate and discussion, we challenged established traditions and came up with a new set of core values. Values that resonate with who we are and the heart of our purpose. Ones that speak to what we do and how we do it:
- Student Success
- A+ Customer Experience
- Act with Integrity
- Have Fun
- Make Positive Change
- I Care
To speak to one value in particular, when I think about “I Care”, I believe that I see everyone live and breathe this every day. I see it in how individuals look out for one another, how no one person goes for lunch without asking others if they want something or want to go along.
I see it in our CX Teams’ office decorations. When people come to HR to say someone on their team is feeling down and if there’s something we can do to help. I see it in the work people do, the true desire to do the best job they can each and every day.
When each of us truly cares, it naturally flows into and drives all the other values. It transitions into how we put student success first and the service we provide to our internal and external customers. It’s acting with integrity. It embeds itself in the creative ways we have fun and how we constantly look to make positive changes in our culture. It’s demonstrated in the small things, like taking the time to make the person next to you stop and smile if they’re having a bad day.
Personally, I’m proud of our new values. I appreciate being a part of a company that can tear something down and start again when they don’t feel it’s right. No harm, no foul – just caring enough to make it better.
Associate Director of HR