Shining the light on company values during the pandemic
Just as a lighthouse is intended to serve as a navigational tool for boats, so too are an organization’s company values. They are designed to keep our companies and our people on track and out of danger. And in these challenging times, when the ‘waters’ are challenging and volatile, our values can be the beacon of light showing an organization and it's people the path to safety.
In recent times, companies from around the world have shown the true power of their values, using them time and again in new, innovative ways. Regardless of country, industry or demographics, there have been fantastic examples of what I call ‘values warriors’ emerging, armed with their values, and ready to be a part of the solution as they protect, support and care for their communities and for their people.
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of these values warriors over the last six months, collecting their wonderful stories to share in a new chapter of my book (and free eBook) on company values. Here are three examples of value warriors sharing some of the many ways that they lived their values with the community and with their people.
A global leader in digital transformation, Atos has used its seven values time and time again to help the global fight against COVID-19 and to support its people.
For instance, the organization helped local authorities contain the spread of the virus by designing EpiSYS, an Epidemic Management System (EMS) that gives health professionals a precise overview of an epidemiological situation. In order to achieve this, it stores and manages all patient data and virus-related data, including tracking and tracing patient incident reports, in real-time.
Another way Atos has displayed its values was by supporting employees through activities such as a two-week virtual kids summer camp, open to all employees’ children to support working parents and carers. It was run as a community, with parents having to conduct a one-hour session based on any talent or skill they selected.
Sessions ranged from French and sign language lessons, to karate, to how to make Play-Doh. They even brought in business-related topics such as how to code and information on climate change and diversity.
Plymouth Community Homes (PCH)
The largest social housing landlord in Plymouth, South-West England, PCH used its four company values to help and support both its residents and employees during lockdown.
One way it achieved this was by providing its residents with online courses through its ‘Learn for Free’ program, and holding chat groups to help them stay connected and ease social isolation.
Another way was by leveraging its employee communications platform which is named ‘Jannet’, since in Plymouth people are known as ‘Janners.’ They used it to provide daily updates on COVID-19, operational information on what was critical to know in order to get work done, as well as a section where employees could post stories and photos to share their personal experiences.
An example of this came from a surprising source – an employee by the name of Mark, a builder, who decided that every day he would share a video that included a daily thought. He named it ‘Thoughts from Mark’s mound’, as he filmed them on a grass bank just outside PCH’s stores building where he picked up his stock each morning.
A global leader in customer experience management, TP used its five values as well as its main goal of ‘happiness from inside out’ to support its community and employees throughout the pandemic.
One example of this was its ‘Keep Smiling’ campaign, which donned the tagline: ‘Working together to keep the nation smiling, helping care homes spread the joy.’ Cards were designed by TP employees and family members that displayed hand-drawn images and upbeat messages such as ‘Be strong, things will get better’, ‘Storms don’t last forever’, and ‘Keep smiling.’ Uplifting messages were written on cards and sent to residents in care homes as well as key workers, delivering them along with treats so that they didn’t feel forgotten and, of course, kept smiling.
They also did this by using employee competitions to drive connections throughout the pandemic, putting their creativity on display. These ranged from an Easter craft competition for kids, to a poetry competition for employees and family members, to a TelePETformance competition where photos were submitted showcasing the talents or funny habits of their pets. You name it, and they had a competition for it, all serving as a means to connect, interact, and celebrate together.
I hope you’ve found these stories inspiring, and that they help you as you continue to live your values throughout the pandemic and beyond.
This blog was originally posted on HRD Connect.