Having a clear set of values in any business helps stakeholders to understand what the business stands for. Company values are seen as a form of guidance, there to help employees to make the right decisions, guiding them to achieve their own goals, which will in turn help the business to achieve its goals and vision.
Soft Tech’s values were integrated into our business culture about 5 years ago, with a Head Office team pulling together a set of values that they felt worked for the organization at the time:
Collaboration | Customer Centric | Innovation | Results Driven | Integrity
The values were launched internally across the rest of the Soft Tech group and embedded into position descriptions and performance reviews.
Fast forward to 2020, the Senior Leadership team met for an annual workshop and after discussing the company values, it became clear that our current company values were not front of mind in our business. Our people struggled to remember them and everything that described them. It was clear we needed to come up with a set of values that spoke to the team, that were easy to remember and adopt as part of their daily lives. Effectively, a set of values that supports the direction of the business and helps to build the culture of Soft Tech globally.
At Soft Tech VOICE = Values | One Team | Integrity | Customer | Excellence
Using the anagram VOICE along with the previous values, the team designed a new set of values that were easy to remember. VOICE also aligned to the messaging coming from our Co-CEO’s. High performing organizations are distinguished by highly engaged team members who feel heard and contribute strongly to the performance of the organization. It’s important that we hear people as individuals, so giving everyone a VOICE helps the Senior Leaders hear the employee’s thoughts and ideas.
Creating our new values (the DNA of Soft Tech), defining who we are as an organization, how we go about our work, makes our values meaningful to the diverse group of employees we have across the globe. We have kept them simple and easy to understand.
Just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, our new values were launched. These new Values played an integral part in our response for the business and our customers. With 29 different nationalities across the business, regardless of where our employees are located, we have been working with leaders to ensure that everyone’s mental health and wellbeing is considered.
We are One Team, we look out for each other and we are empathetic to each individual’s situation. As our people are located all over the world, some have friends and family on the front line in hot spots or living in epicenters in various regions of the world. People and their wellbeing have been forefront of our response. The Co-CEO’s and Senior Leadership team have monitored where people are at in the different locations, keeping in touch with employees either directly or through their managers and checking in to ensure everyone is safe. Our HR team have also been keeping a close eye on all events Covid across the countries in which we have staff located.
Prior to Covid-19 we had approximately 25-30% of our workforce working remotely, but in mid-March, like many other businesses, that became 100%. We have the infrastructure in place to move people to work remote quickly, and the ease at which we had everyone out of our global offices and working from home was a testament to our One Team. During this time, we also saw the Integrity of our people as we all banded together to provide continued support and service to our customers during this unusual time.
Our Customer and striving for Excellence remains the focal point of what we do, and so during the early stages of various levels of a global lockdown, our support and training team had a focus on keeping our customers online by setting them up to work from home too. By pivoting our licensing options, we were able to set up a system to release new licenses daily, helping to get our customers and their teams up and running remotely, and providing continuity where possible for their business too.
While we are still in the early stages of establishing processes and designing programs to support the embedding of these new values into our everyday lives across the business, it will be an important part of the growth journey Soft Tech is currently on. To bring them to life will require One Team to embed and adopt them as an integral part of life at Soft Tech, regardless of role or location.
For more information on our values and culture, visit softtech.com/company/our-values-and-culture