Are your company values working for you? By Malachi McPherson

3 Oct 2022
Written by: The TCM Group

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Released in 2021, Transformational Culture, by The TCM Group’s founder and CEO David Liddle, provides a blueprint for creating a progressive, values-based and people centred organisation.

Of course, achieving this is no small feat and throughout the book David breaks down how organisations can methodically approach and implement ideals to create a healthy, positive and inclusive workshop culture. If you haven’t already, you can order a copy here.

An integral part of transforming culture detailed in the book is the ‘eight enablers.’ These are proposed as being the elements which drive and sustain a transformational culture, namely: values first, evidence based, the people and culture function, leadership and management, resolution framework, wellbeing, engagement and inclusion, sustainability and social justice and last but not least, brand reputation and risk.

Over the next few weeks I will explore the eight enablers in detail, investigating their meanings, practicalities, best practice and insights/impact from the perspective of our people at TCM who deliver these within workplaces on a day-to-day basis.


Enabler 1: Values First

Do you know what your company’s values are? Hopefully you do and that’s a great start! Unfortunately, for your organisation to put ‘values first’ it’s not enough to be able to recite them on-demand, view them on a lobby wall or for them to sit at the bottom of email signatures.

Can you identify how said company values directly influence and impact leadership and employee behaviour, customer experience, processes and day-to-day activities? Are your company’s proposed values a living, breathing aspect of your business?

In Transformational Culture David says “To define an organization’s values, one first needs to be clear about its purpose. The purpose of your organization defines the reason it exists. Leaders need to think hard about how to make purpose central to their strategy. The purpose should relate to what your organization does and what it stands for.”

David proposes that values should constitute a ‘golden thread’ tying together and influencing decisions, behaviours and activities within a business, down to the minutest detail or passing interaction stating “Values are a golden thread that runs through the organization and they are central to the development of cultural flow.”

Here at TCM, our values are: Innovation, Courage, Excellence, Collaboration and Integrity and these are behaviours the whole team endeavours to integrate into everything we do.

Values for less

Famed ridesharing company Uber state their values as including factors which allude to a ‘go getter’ / entrepreneurial mindset, being trip obsessed, caring, safety and seeing the bigger picture. You can explore these in more detail here.

Though insanely popular, the company has been hit by its fair share of employment lawsuits and is regularly in the headlines for sub-par employee treatment and company procedures. Uber’s ‘values’ therefore create a substantial ongoing risk to their reputation, business continuity and likely their ability to attract and retain talent.

An article in The New York Times “called the Uber company culture “aggressive and unrestrained.” The article itself goes on to describe a company that prizes “meritocracy” and “hustlin’” over teamwork or caring for each other. It’s in that environment — where results were often prized over anything — that the type of harassment Fowler described was able to thrive.”

Value for more

Conversantly, software company Bento for Business are a stellar example of being values-led. Their motto is ‘Be Human’ and this is embodied by the company’s dedication to professional and personal development for all employees.

Team members are supported in all aspects of their lives, with several senior leaders extending support to employees beyond the workplace. The company also ensure to extend this supportive mentality to partners and customers.

What’s the effect?

A supportive non-toxic workplace environment has a plethora of positive effects including:

  • A happier workforce/employee is more likely to be loyal to an organisation, reducing the frequency of recruitment, lengthy onboarding process etc.
  • Greater innovation and creativity due to more healthy approaches to conflicts. Conflict within workplaces triggers a ‘fight or flight’ biological reaction in the brain. Studies have found this has a significant impact on individuals’ ability to think innovatively and creatively.
  • Increased confidence. Employees who are working within a supportive environment are more likely to be forthcoming with ideas that could benefit the business.
  • Inevitable errors can be utilised as learning opportunities and feed into innovation.
  • Better communication between leadership and colleagues, which allows the organisation to be more forward-thinking.

Are you ready to make a shift towards a values-first transformational workplace culture? Join TCM for our Culture Clinic with Mashhuda Kazi to further explore the critical way that leadership plays a role in workplace culture. Reserve your place here.