Photo by Ankakay on Flickr with modification
Do you believe corporate values are important? Do they really make a difference or are they just the meaningless jargon-du-jour?
Bestselling author Stan Slap argues in Companies Don’t Have Values; People Do that organizations often conflate corporate strategies with corporate values, and that when an unsuccessful strategy changes, the ‘value’ changes, which shouldn’t happen unless there’s a very good reason for it.
Think about the most deeply-held value you have, whether it’s your family, your professionalism, your patriotism, or your integrity. What can anyone say to shake your commitment to your family life, your job, or your country?
Imagine you have problems within your family or with a particular member. You may have employed several different strategies to resolve or alleviate the issue. Your strategies change but your commitment to your family’s welfare is unshakeable, because it’s a value.
Corporate values are important because they state to the world, “We believe in this. No matter what happens we’re committed to upholding this value.”
When corporate ‘values’ fly out the window because they stand in the way of company success (or are misperceived that way), the company admits to the rest of the world, “We didn’t really mean that. It was just a bunch of fashionable horse apples.”
When your website states your corporate values include building customer trust, and you’re busted creating unauthorized customer accounts to hit your sales numbers followed by firing the junior employees who originally needed to do it to keep their jobs, the world understands that customer trust is NOT one of your corporate values. Elsewhere, a value commitment to ‘environmental accountability’ is simple hogwash when you’re caught faking emission test results.
Maybe, as Mr. Slap pointed out, companies should solicit employee input if they truly believe corporate values are important.
This is what Yappn did recently in a fun exercise to mix up management and employees and discuss what really matters to them. When your entire company participates in a values-defining session, it’s no longer some out-of-touch C-suiter telling you what to believe; you’ve exchanged ideas and come to a mutual agreement and now everyone has skin in the game, including those whose responsibility ultimately is to support and reinforce those values. The CEO didn’t pull them out of some online Random Corporate Values Generator, we broke up into separate discussion groups and each came up with five values we thought should or does exemplify the company (One team of overachievers came up with seven! Brownies!)
One member of each team then wrote their five values on a whiteboard with a brief explanation for each. The redundancies were combined and then each person voted on what remained and we narrowed it to five.
At Yappn we are:
Innovative and Disruptive
Positive, Balanced and Inclusive
The world grows darker and everyone is shrouded in fear. You can’t think clearly when your amygdala is freaking out. The ‘negativity bias’ kicks in and you focus on what’s wrong with the world and all the terrible things that might happen. At Yappn, we believe all of us everywhere will make the world better. We even have this really smart guy in our metaphorical corner on this one. We choose to cultivate a ‘positivity bias’ to identify what’s right with the world and we’ll be on the lookout for all the good things that might happen so that you don’t get blindsided!
How can we not be inclusive? We’re a machine translation company! Our software speaks 106 different languages! Yappn is multicultural and diverse. Know why? Because we know that human beings share, literally, 99% of our DNA with each other. No kidding. 99%. Yet humans make such a fuss over minor cosmetic differences. We don’t care how you dress, who you marry or which bathroom you use, as long as you don’t leave a mess in the sink. We value everyone’s input and feedback.
“I think this is a great value to highlight given what we do. Embracing new languages is by definition inclusive, whether you are talking about an individual, a company or a government entity”.
– Steve Taylor, Chief Sales Officer
A Team That Works Hard and Plays Hard
Whether we’re implementing a huge translation project for a mega-retailer or relaxing at the end of the day (maybe with a bottle of champagne to celebrate an excellent go-live!) Yappn believes in a balance between hard work and time to play. And oh yeah, sleep! We encourage our employees to get some sleep!
Proud, Passionate and Principled
We are passionate about better machine translation to handle the task of translating the mammoth amounts of data created every single day. We’re proud that our software won’t be putting human translators out of work because they will always be needed for very special jobs like translating legal documents and contracts, where language is of paramount importance even in just your native language, and they’ll also be required for post-editing. It will enable human translators to get some sleep!
Being principled really boils down to respect. Respect your customers and respect your employees. Here at Yappn, we live by that rule every single day as we believe that success relies on a solid foundation which includes attention and regard for those we rely on most and without whom we could not achieve success on any level.
A Team That Thrives To Exceed Expectations
Under-promise, over-deliver, make sure the customer is clear on cost and implementation time, and be very, very careful to translate the phrase “I’m hot” correctly into French.
Corporate values are important. Make no mistake about it. Our strategies may change along with the faces we see at the office every day, as will our goals and objectives as we grow older and wiser and more productive. The world is going to change too, but we believe the world is getting better and we want you to believe it too.
Yappn Corp is an enhanced machine translation company offering translations in 106 different languages that embraces and values all living beings. Well, except for big, hairy spiders. Call us species-ist if you like, but we really dislike big, hairy spiders. That’s why some of us choose to live in Toronto, which is famous for its lack of horrifying hirsute arachnids. For more information or tips on how to politely and safely remove giant insectivores, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1.905.763.3510 x246.
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Written by Nicole Chardenet, Yappn Marketing Associate & Sales Development Rep