- Letters from our Leaders
Company values: what are they for and how do we apply them?
The team at Wahl & Case has grown significantly this year and though we talk a lot about company values, motivators, and competencies, I thought there might be some questions about why we have these three distinct frameworks; what are they for and how do we apply them?
Our company values give us a lens for making decisions and defining how we work
As Casey (Founder & CEO of Wahl & Case) said when he introduced them nearly two years ago,
“They shouldn’t be just words on paper, hanging on a wall, rather these are a snapshot to the soul of our company, to keep us on track, and give us guidance.”
When we all incorporate these company values into the way we work, it helps to align our efforts toward achieving our goals in a way that feels true to who we are as a company.
Our individual values or motivators underscore why we enjoy our work
While the motivators also work at an individual level, they have enormous potential to positively impact to how we understand our teammates. This additional context can help us take steps to improve understanding and strengthen team culture, which contributes to performance and retention.It gives us a jumping-off point for conversations and guides us toward improvements that will increase engagement.
Our competencies help us understand what excellent work looks like
They are made up of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and observable behaviors that contribute to success within our teams. A competency assessment can help you identify areas for improvement or give context to how much your skills have developed over time – and they have the potential to change quite quickly, especially through conscious effort.
Rather than looking at intentions or perceptions, the competencies ask: Do you demonstrate this specific, important behavior? And do you do it consistently? It’s a concrete tool to support performance feedback and target setting.
Perhaps more important than the differences, is how much our company values, motivators and competencies have in common:
- They share strong unifying themes: such as the drive to learn and improve ourselves and our industry, with a focus on our customers and our teammates
- They are all interdisciplinary systems, with applications ranging from our day-to-day decision making to our long-term goals
- They clarify expectations and provide us with a shared vocabulary
These similarities help to define our culture and, as part of that, impact the experience of every Wahl & Caser, no matter their team or position.
Considered together, they paint a more complete picture of who we are, what we strive to achieve, and how we aim to reach those goals.
Last, but not least, these are living frameworks; they work best when we are discussing and applying them actively.