Employee Motivation

How Your Values Come to Life During Uncertain Times

In today’s world of uncertainty, your company values serve as the foundation for delivering on your employee experience. They have the power to unite teams through shared language, give us focus when things feel out of control, and serve as a pillar for success. Values will not only help us survive these changing conditions, but also empower us to adapt and thrive.

We hosted a webinar on April 2nd with Culture Amp and a selection of awesome people leaders for a discussion around how your values come to life during times of uncertainty. Our panelists included:

  • Josh Berman, Culture Enablement Lead at Culture Amp
  • Lara May D. Chollette, HR Leader at Ellenos
  • Tia Smith, VP of People Development at Collaborative Solutions, LLC
  • Shannon Ferguson, our own Head of People at Blueboard
  • Kevin Yip, our own Co-Founder and COO at Blueboard

These experts took us through a deep dive of their own company’s values and how they’re bringing them to life while facing these challenging times, which we’ve shared below. And for more great HR webinars, continue to stay in touch via our Resources page.

Our values at Blueboard

At Blueboard, we have four values that create the foundation for our employee experience and establish alignment across the business: 

  1. Dance a little different: We accept others as they come, and strive to wear our individuality proudly on our sleeves, at work and out in the world. By being simultaneously open and unequivocally ourselves, we hope to inspire others to be comfortable dancing a little different.
  1. Build meaningful relationships: We care deeply about connecting authentically with others and strive to be available and genuinely open to connection in all forms.
  1. G.S.D. (get sh*t done): We are determined, scrappy, and will always strive to punch above our weight class. We do whatever it takes to get the job done and wear that as a badge of honor.
  1. Set ourselves up for success: We are always thoughtful and intentional when it comes to our work. No matter the size or scope of what we’re working to achieve, we plan proactively to maximize our opportunity for success.

How we’re bringing them to life

When the situation with COVID-19 first unfolded, our co-founders hosted a meeting with all of the people managers to discuss how to approach the situation and make sure our values still serve as the foundation to our company. Here’s what those values look like in action today:

  • Dance a little different. At that meeting, the team discussed the Crucible of Leadership, which is the concept that great leaders are often developed through hardships and come out stronger on the other side. To our team, this pandemic is our crucible, so we discussed what a Blueboard Leader looks like in this environment: authentic, vulnerable, and focused on having real conversations.
  • Build meaningful relationships: To ensure that our team can continue building meaningful relationships during this time, we’ve hosted more 1:1 Donut date pairings, group happy hours, and other fun virtual events to boost employee motivation and keep everyone connected.
  • GSD: In order to quickly respond to changing policies and customer needs, we put together a small task force that includes a cross-section of people from different levels across all of the affected teams. The intense commitment, sense of urgency, and alignment around rapidly resolving new challenges demonstrated by this task force is all GSD at work. 
  • Set ourselves up for success. As we’ve adjusted to our new lives as remote workers we’ve collaborated to ensure we can be effective in our new environments. Some examples include adopting daily team stand ups on Zoom, to setting the expectation that we’re creating space for each other as we face our own challenges during this time.

Values at Culture Amp

Culture Amp has four key values that serve as the foundation for their organization, which build on one another. If you have the courage to be vulnerable then you can open yourself up to learn faster through feedback. If you can learn faster through feedback, then you can trust people to make decisions. If you trust others to make decisions then that gives you the capability to amplify others. 

How Culture Amp is bringing them to life

In response to COVID-19, Culture Amp has taken actions to ensure their values still stay the same but are a bit more specific so their employees understand how to apply them in this new setting. Here’s what those values look like in action today:

  • Courage to be vulnerable. An example of this value being brought to life has been set by Culture Amp’s CEO, Didier Elzinga, who shares daily video updates with the entire company to address changing conditions and mitigate concern through increased transparency. .
  • Learn faster through feedback. The team initiated weekly pulse surveys by using its COVID-19 Emergency Response Template, changed the tone of their surveys to be more aligned with the current situation, and added self-reflection questions to improve feedback channels.
  • Trust others to make decisions. There has been an emphasis on this value with the transition to remote - which may make the work of others less visible, but still requires trust to ensure decisions are made. 
  • Amplify others. Culture Amp is focusing more than ever on encouraging people to showcase their skills and support one another during this time. 

Values at Ellenos

Ellenos has a diverse workforce with 172 employees - a mix of part-time and full-time  across their corporate/in-office, manufacturing, or field marketing teams. All employees, regardless of their position, stand behind the same five core values of the company:

How Ellenos is bringing them to life

Even during these changing times - especially for the company’s non-desk workers - Ellenos remains deeply committed to its five values. Here’s how the team is bringing them to life: 

  • Treat everyone like family: The team is focused on having honest conversations about the business decisions that are being made in response to COVID-19. 
  • Go the extra mile: Ellenos has gone the extra mile to take care of its employees during this time. The company rolled out many initiatives, including: a Crisis Assistance Program (80% benefits coverage), loyalty pay for their hourly workforce, employee appreciation gifts for essential staff, and more varied communication in multiple languages to better connect with all employees

For on-site workers, health is paramount, so they’ve added extra cleaning and sanitation stations and additional resources for mental health across their manufacturing facilities, and require employees to check their temperature before passing through the security entrance., and.

  • Celebrate obsessions: To help teams stay connected and celebrate employee wellbeing, Ellenos is hosting weekly employee contests and encouraging employees to share their obsessions - including a virtual potluck where employees showcase their favorite foods (their founder is a big believer in “breaking bread” together). For manufacturing staff not regularly on their phones, Ellenos’ team prints out photos of the “obsessions” so all teams can equally connect.
  • Be responsible to one another: During this time, there’s also an increased emphasis on each person’s responsibility. This means really stepping up for the team and increasing non-email communication to make sure everyone is aware of what’s going on.
  • Grow together: Finally, the Ellenos team is also challenging each other to envision how their business will look after the pandemic is over. This ensures that they’re all growing in the same direction and will come out of the situation even stronger than before.

Values at Collaborative Solutions, LLC

At Collaborative Solutions, their values are at the core of everything they do and are woven throughout the entire employee experience - from asking values-based questions as part of their interview process to influencing their employee recognition platform, to the branding in their email signatures.

How Collaborative Solutions is bringing them to life

In the face of COVID-19, Collaborative Solutions’ leadership team and employees have really stepped up to make sure their values are even more top of mind for the company. Here’s how the team is bringing them to life:

  • People: The team is even more focused on educating their employees and more specifically their managers, who play a critical role in fostering engagement across the company. To support their managers, Collaborative Solutions created a COVID-19 Manager Resource Portal, a one-stop-shop for our managers on everything from updated policies to mental health resources to share out with their teams. 
  • Collaboration: Since collaboration is already built into the company’s DNA, the transition to being a fully remote workforce was seamless. By encouraging employees to turn their video on during calls and find fun ways to connect (playing trivia games, having a “best crazy socks” competition, etc.) they’re able to strengthen their relationships even more and take their minds away from the heaviness.  
  • Knowledge: Collaborative Solutions wanted to understand how their employees were feeling during this time because they value knowledge. So they rolled out Culture Amp’s Emergency Response Survey, developed new resources for employees and managers (like a custom course on how to work remote), and are sending out frequent communications with updates from the CEO, mental health resources, and tips for having fun while working from home.
  • Balance: Now that kids are home from school and spouses or roommates are working in the same space, there’s increased empathy at the company around work-life integration. So employees are understanding of the fact that they might see a child pop into view during a video call or hear dogs barking in the background. 
  • Integrity: The CEO and President of Collaborative Solutions recently opened their all-hands meeting last week by re-emphasizing the company’s values and outlining the steps they’re taking to proactively address how COVID-19 will affect the business and they plan to protect the Collaborative family. 

Times are tough right now, but by making sure your company and employees are aligned with your values, you’ll be able to move in the right direction and make it through on the other side. If you want to learn how to help your values come to life through the power of recognition, connect with our team here.

Stay tuned for more valuable webinars and upcoming events here on our Resources page - stay well, and we can’t wait to see you again online.

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As of March 12, 2024, Blueboard has ceased its operations. To everyone that supported us over the years, thank you. 🙏