ESG· 3min May 22, 2023
Since Form3’s inception in 2016, company values have played an important role in our operations.
Last year, a dedicated team was put together and given the responsibility to review the current values, and develop and implement a fresh set of them.
In a nutshell, values show everyone what is held as important behaviours within a company, and what is expected from employees as individuals when they are part of it.
We believe that values play a key part in Form3’s success, as they lay the foundations of what is meaningful for us as a company and are the guiding principles for how our colleagues should turn up to work every day.
But is that all there is to company values? And how did we know whether we had the right ones at Form3 – values that resonate with our team and are truly something that they believe in?
Our company values have been in place for almost as long as our near seven-year history. But over this time, we have tweaked, reviewed, and refined them to ensure that they were still relevant for Form3 and our colleagues across the globe. The biggest review and revamp of our values took place last year, in 2022.
So, why did we review the eight company values we then had at Form3? Well, first of all, we felt that eight was perhaps a stretch too many. In fact, if you asked colleagues what our values were, you’d find that 90-95% of the time, they would struggle to remember more than half, probably getting to six at most. This was taken from an initial survey launched out to the wider Form3 team. Maybe not bad, but we (as I’m sure is the case with all companies) wanted all our values to be memorable and thus, be easily remembered.
To begin with, we created a “Values Team” that oversaw the review of the current values and was charged with implementing changes. This was a small team of 6 individuals from across different parts of the business at Form3, who contributed with their unique point of view to the process, what this should look like and how this was going to rolled-out.
As the ‘Values Team’, we wanted our values to cover a few short requirements:
The “Values Team” was then tasked to ask other Form3 colleagues what they thought of the existing values, looking at two core rating metrics. Firstly, understanding how important each of the values was to them as an individual, and secondly how they felt that the values were ‘lived’ at Form3. This was done via an online and anonymous internal questionnaire.
This method gave us a way to clearly score what our values for the company should be, according to both colleague sentiment and feedback. So, with these results, we noticed we had six clear values that meant something to our team.
Transparent and open
We are one team
Wow our customers
But six was still too many, especially when, as I mentioned earlier, team members at Form3 could only remember four or five of our current eight values – and looking at the list, there was some clear consolidation that we could still do.
Within the “Values Team”, we finally came up with the acronym TECH (which we liked as a tech company) to help people remember the values which had more weight in the eyes of our team: Transparency, Everyone Matters, Care Deeply and Hight Standards.
Transparency: we are authentic, open, and honest. We share information collaboratively.
Everyone Matters: We are one team all working together to make great things happen.
Care Deeply: We care deeply about the work that we do, the customers we serve, the people we work with, and we treat each other fairly.
High Standards: We work to high standards. We're on a journey of continuous improvement. We try and if we fail, we try again.
We came up with our new values based on feedback from our colleagues. But how did we know that they were right, that they resonated with our team members in the company, and importantly that they could remember them?
Once we had our values, the “Values Team” presented these back to several groups of colleagues to get their feedback. Thankfully, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, so we pushed forward with our plans to launch these to the wider company.
With this, our company values were created, designed, and ratified by our colleagues, not the executive management team. We also felt that this was an important point to consider as part of this process as the values should be for everyone and not something created by a few people or the leadership, for the company to follow.
Once the “Values Team” were happy with the action plan on how the values were going to be communicated to the wider business and the next steps were agreed, new company values were announced in September 2022 to our Form3 colleagues in our weekly all-company meeting with our CEO, Michael Mueller, giving his seal of approval.
While I mentioned before that we felt it important that the values were not thought-up by a leadership group, of course, getting the CEO’s sponsorship and backing is an important step to show the importance that they play, and giving them the credibility they deserve. The company-wide announcement was supported by some further written communications, along with a new values section on the company intranet and a testimonial video from colleagues where they talked about what the values meant to them
Since launching our new TECH values, we have worked hard to ensure our team are not only aware and remember them, but also that they apply them in everything they do at Form3.
We currently have an intranet page dedicated to our values where we explain the process of how we came up with them, available for our team to access at any time.
We also have included them in our Form3 Culture page, which you can access here.
We have revamped our office and included some visuals on our values to display them clearly for our teams and visitors (check out our photo!). Once a month, we work with a small number of colleagues (around 50) to test their knowledge and check the sentiment around these being the right values for Form3, via an online anonymous questionnaire.
When colleagues join Form3, our values have a prominent part in their onboarding experience and induction programme, through dedicated resources. We also encourage our teams to recognise their peers for the great work they do when they demonstrate they are aligned to one or more of our values.
One of the highlights of this year 2023 is that, as part of our Annual Performance Review process, for the option of providing 360-feedback for our team, colleagues could rate how their peers demonstrated Form3 values in their day-to-day.
While there is still more we can do in this space when it comes to promoting our values at Form3, several months on from re-launch, the approval numbers for our values are still high.
We’re proud of the culture that we have created at Form3, and there’s no doubt that our values play an important role in this, but only because they are true to our team, and resonate with them.