Undefined values can lead to compounding culture debt - Deepstash

Undefined values can lead to compounding culture debt

When a company is small, the high degree of interaction between team members allows for efficient decisions without having values defined. But as a company starts to grow, communication and alignment around decision-making and hiring become increasingly challenging. Delegating responsibility becomes more difficult because you may lack the confidence that your employees will do things right.

Without common principles guiding decision making, a natural consequence is to implement top-down policies. The well-intentioned policies make it harder to attract and retain top talent that thrives on freedom and responsibility. In turn, it leads to lower performance and stricter top-down control.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Why Define Company Values?

Startups often discuss the concept of "culture fit" when deciding who to hire. They will look beyond someone's individual performance and consider their impact on the rest of the team.

But, if the culture fit is undefined, at best it will lead to inconsistent hiring decisions, and at worst, "culture fit" may become a cover for unconscious biases to affect decision making. Without guidance, individuals may interpret "culture fit" as someone similar to them, leading to a less diverse team.

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Instead of developing top-down policies to manage performance, a single investment in carefully defining core values creates a platform for employees to make decisions more efficiently and autonomously.

A company that values openness empower engineers to make decisions and discuss with their lead only. If a company decide that they fundamentally value secrecy, engineers know not to waste energy trying to open-source code. Undefined values mean these questions need to be constantly reevaluated.

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Values underpin your brand and public identity, impacting business partnerships, fundraising, and guiding your marketing and communications.

Written down values become a touchstone that every employee can speak to with less top-down oversight while empowering them to communicate with external parties more freely and authentically.

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Your values will affect your company culture

A company’s Vision and Mission define where your company is going. Values define how you get there - for example, "openness."

Defining your values becomes the foundation for your company culture, directing the decisions you make, and the people you hire.

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Diversity in workplaces

Diversity in the workplace brings the skills, perspectives, and experiences organizations require to be successful and productive.

These advantages of having a diverse workforce are overshadowed if managers aren't facilitating inclusion, or if there is any bias in the workplace due to the hiring of minorities, people of a different colour or even gender.

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Diversity & Inclusion

There is a significant relationship between competitive profit gains and diversity.

Companies with gender, ethnic and racial diversity are at least 15 percent more likely to experience above-average financial returns.

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Flexibility And Hybrid Work

“Flexibility” is now rivaled in prominence only by the novel work model it is so often used to describe: hybrid work. They have taken over the way we speak about the future of work and represent new ways of thinking about the further integration of work and life.

Many different interpretations of flexibility are beginning to arise. But none of these definitions is exactly what employees mean when they say they want flexibility. What it seems they really want is autonomy. Within the context of hybrid work, this means having the ability to be the primary decision-maker of where and when they do their work.

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