Why Company Values Are Important
There are many companies out there that have values, that often are just placed there by Human Resources because they felt they “should” have values. Then there are other companies that build their entire way of working around their values. For instance lets take a look at Google’s Mission, Vision and Values.
Google Mission Statement
Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful
Google Vision Statement
To provide access to the world’s information in one click
- Great isn’t good enough.
- Focus on the user, all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- You don’t need to be at your desk.
These are great goals and I especially think that the "You can make money without doing evil." is one to highlight. Although you might want to take a pause as these goals seem to put the companies success before the employee, just make sure you consider this before taking a job.
Below you will find Amazon's Mission and Values. I have heard this repeatedly that Amazon's focus on the customer is second probably only to a greeter at Walt Disney. It is important to note that there are some good values in here. I especially like "Hire the Best" and "Learn and Be Curious".
Amazon Mission Statement
"Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon."
Amazon Vision Statement
Our vision is to be earth's most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
- Customer Obsession
- Invent and Simplify
- Learn and Be Curious
- Hire the Best
- The Highest Standards
- Think Big
- Bias for Action
- Earn Trust
- Deliver Results
The large FANG companies above are only an example that represent GIANT companies. There are a lot of startups, small companies, universities, and non-profits that allow for a much greater focus on those working for the company and the values they are trying to uphold. Don't get stuck on just the paycheck, make sure you feel like you are appreciated at work, it will make up 2,080 hours (if you are lucky) every single year of your life.
Why I chose to work at OST
Many don’t know that my day job is at an amazing company called OST (Open Systems Technologies) in Grand Rapids Michigan. The reason that I decided to work at OST was their company culture and values. At OST we have a blue card that is given to every employee that lists our values. Our slogan below is what we live by.
We honor our people and their families first, clients second and the rest will fall into place. ~OST
OST’s Five Guiding Principles
- Honor - our employees and their families.
- Delight - our clients.
- Serve - with humility.
- Embrace - entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Learn - through curiosity and empathy.
Find What Works for You
If you are just getting started you most likely are prioritizing your goals around how big your salary will be, health care, 401k. Basically your overall compensation is what you will be looking to examine. However, when you only focus on this as your number one goal it can cause you pain down the road.
For instance during the 2020 pandemic many found their job was eliminated because their company only cared about hitting a specific Gross Margin, Revenue, or Owner's Equity number. I would caution against any company that is not putting their employees first. Make sure you do your research and see how a company reacted to the events this past year. Don't be afraid to ask this in your interview as well.
Remember you are a valuable resource in the technology field. There are more jobs than people available and you should be treated as that valued resource!