by Tim Reese
We see a lot of odd public behavior by companies nowadays. The ever growing social media landscape has put corporate actions in the spotlight, whether or not they want those actions highlighted. Secrets are increasingly harder to keep, and honesty has never been more valuable. Because corporate entities are becoming more and more the target of scrutiny, it is vitally important that industries keep their central morality in check. A way to do this is having excellent company values.
Company values are the core moral or responsibility-driven values that a company has (definitions are neat, aren’t they?). That’s kind of important to keep in mind if you’re participating in a for-profit company whose actions may or may not be influencing larger things going on in the world. Below is a list of some (but not all) of our values that we work with to ensure that we’re doing our part; not only toward our own success, but to our customers and the world as a whole:
1. Earn Your Success and Own it.
It’s important to the staff of Accessory Power (AP) that we are responsible for our own individual success. We try every day to achieve little victories within our departments and make sure others’ victories don’t go unnoticed. We have systems here that encourage a ‘no good deed goes un-praised’ policy. For example, Accessory Power employees are encouraged to nominate fellow employees for monthly awards for their good work (Called Power Player cards, because we love alliteration). That feeling of ownership toward an accomplishment is crazy important to the atmosphere of a company, so we do our best to make sure each employee knows that they own the things they accomplish.
2. Always be Learning.
There’s a famous tough-as-nails speech that aggressively defines an employee’s worth as “Always be closing” (you know the one). That’s not quite our style. Instead we’re more interested in always learning more things about the way we work, to see what works and what doesn’t. Each problem faced here is tackled like a learning opportunity, with any possible failures being heavily evaluated in constructive ways instead of using them to cast blame. Employees here are also encouraged to participate in Lynda courses during work hours in order to improve their skill set. A lot of research goes on at any technology company and we are no exception. The main question for us here is not “what did I accomplish today”, instead focusing on “what did I learn today”. By encouraging employees to learn as much as they can, the accomplishments come naturally from the pursuit of that knowledge.
3. Do more with less
This one’s a bit tricky. We’re a smaller company as far as manufactures go so this value is in place more out of necessity for our business than the welfare of our staff. That being said, ‘doing more with less’ is a value that forces employees to get more creative with their situations. Working around budget constrictions is an art that our staff develops when tackling big projects. Creative teams look at problems from all angles (to quote one of the company’s more popular slogans: “we go over, under, around and through”) We are always are looking for ways to get the most out of our resources, which in turn often gives way to brilliant ideas.
4. Ask “Why”
When a toddler asks ‘why’ to the things they encounter, it’s often looked at as annoying or otherwise a stage of growing up that they’ll outgrow eventually, but a good company doesn’t let their staff grow out of that habit. ‘Why’ is such an important question to ask because it not only encourages people to know the ins and outs of operations, but it holds people accountable for the ways things ‘have always been done.’ If something’s not working, self-evaluate. Ask yourself why you are doing something and find the answer that drives you. Is what you’re doing helping the world? The company? Your department? There’s only one way to find out.
5. Don’t exist in a vacuum.
Here’s some news that may be shocking to some of you: the world exists. You okay? I know, it’s a doozy. The biggest value of a company having, well… values, is knowing how its actions effect the world around it. AP works hard at this, working with charity organizations for causes that our employees support, and encouraging eco-friendly behaviors among its staff and operations. We also look to the outside world for inspiration, looking at what products exist in the market and what people actually are looking for. We actively try not to copy, but to improve upon technological advancements that we see around us.
These values are just the first step in forming a company’s social responsibility. It’s important for companies to keep these values in mind when evaluating what major decisions and impacts they will be making. Obviously having values isn’t going to single-handedly change the world, but they certainly help toward creating a positive company culture and making sure each step is a step in the right direction.