How We Made Our Core Values Meaningful

A few years ago, organizations hesitantly started Facebook pages (“Everyone’s doing it, so we probably should too”). Now, it seems they are all diving into the world of core values. Often, a management team decides that ‘collaboration’ and ‘openness’ fit the core of the organization, presents it once, maybe even puts the core values on the website, and then does nothing more with them. This is a shame because core values are so important. They say something about why and how you do things. That’s why it’s crucial to involve employees in defining these values. The beauty is: core values are always within your organization. You just have to find them.

Determining Core Values as a New Organization

On January 1, 2019, JUNCTION Creative Group, in2media, and Friks officially became one Junction creative + digital agency. This meant not only that we needed a new corporate identity, website, and methodology, but also that we faced a new mentality and culture. Where we as separate organizations might have been able to recite our core values, we now faced a challenge: how do we determine our joint values?

A Collaborative Search

Our very own ‘Chief Happy Work’ Teun knew what to do. He organized a session full of creative game forms where we discussed what we find important. This resulted in a beautiful list of values:

  • Open: We stand for openness in thinking, doing, daring. We treat people as equals and are open to everyone’s talents.
  • Energy: Working from a positive mindset.
  • Growth: We keep learning to become better and better.
  • Together: We combine forces from different disciplines, within the organization and with our clients.
  • Involved: Our people come first, then the rest follows naturally. We feel committed to our work.

Core Values in Junction’s Style

But once you’ve determined what’s important, the biggest challenge follows: How do you ensure the message gets across on the work floor? We decided to leave it in the hands of our creative team. They translated the values into statements. ‘Open’ became ‘Bring it on!’, ‘Energy’ became ‘Save the grumbling for your vacation’, ‘Growth’ became ‘Watch out, we’ll be even better tomorrow!’, ‘Together’ became ‘High fives over self fives’, and ‘Involved’ became ‘Yes, we care!’. And believe me, we did not skimp on the size of these phrases displayed throughout our office…

To Each Their Own Way

Spreading core values in elephant size throughout your office might not fit every organization. If you also want to work with core values, think carefully as a team about the people you work with and how you can best reach and touch them. If you need help with that, you now know what we at Junction say: Bring it on!