Believe that nothing is impossible; Treat all with respect; Exceed expectation; Create opportunities – these are the company values of one of Exponential Training’s newest clients, Swanstaff Recruitment.
On receiving an enquiry from Swanstaff Recruitment for the delivery of a management development programme, I started to research them and was immediately struck by their company values.
The values are simple, practical and inspirational. I could immediately see how they provide a framework within which managers and team members can make decisions and perform. The simplicity of the values, however, masks the power that they have and the careful crafting that has had to take place to make them so simple.
Just imagine if everyone in your organisation believed that 'nothing is impossible'; that there is 'always a solution to every challenge', and not to take 'no for an answer', but to ‘question it’ because ‘to give up is to fail’. What might your team be able to achieve?
If all organisations strived to ‘exceed expectation’ and to ‘always go for an extra mile’ in the pursuit of being ‘extraordinary’ and to ‘wow yourself and others’ and believing that being ‘average is not acceptable’, what might the economy look like now?
How fantastic would it be to work in an environment where everyone is treated with ‘respect and the highest standard of professionalism, enabling them to ‘create opportunity’.
Then I realised I do work in such an environment. Yes, Exponential’s values read differently, but they encapsulate the essence of Swanstaff’s values and maybe that is why both Exponential and Swanstaff are so successful within their own respective industry's.
Values are like the bedrock or the foundation on which success is built. Such values empower people; they encourage innovation; and they create a positive and supportive culture providing the values are lived day-in-day-out.
Values support an organisation’s vision; they can help to shape the organisation’s culture - they are the essence of an organisation’s identity. They can encapsulate the principles, beliefs or philosophy of the founder and the organisation.
In my experience, too many organisations focus too much on the technical competencies and forget that it is the organisation’s core values that differentiate them.
Establishing strong core values provides both internal and external advantages to an organisation. Consider the following:
- Values help and support the decision-making processes. For example, if one of your core values is to stand behind the quality of your products, any products not reaching the satisfactory standard are automatically eliminated.
- Core values educate clients and potential customers in what the organisation is about and clarify its identity. Having a clear and distinctive set of core values that connects with potential and actual customers can and does create a competitive advantage.
- Core values are increasingly important in the context of recruitment and manpower retention. Today, job seekers are doing their homework on the identities of the organisations they want to work for before applying for jobs – if you need to employ top graduates, top performers or top specialists, you need to make sure they are attracted to your organisation and what it stands for,
I believe that the Directors of both Exponential Training and Swanstaff understand this. Why has Swanstaff survived and thrived despite the tough economic conditions of recent years when so many of its competitors ceased trading? How is it that a small UK-based training business like Exponential is training managers, coaches and consultants from over thirty different countries? Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with having clear, strong and distinctive core values that shape and frame how the two businesses work.
As an indicator of Swanstaff’s commitment to values such as making people ‘feel valued’, ‘treating people with the highest standard of professionalism’ and believing that ‘average is not acceptable’, the directors are investing heavily in its management team and future. Swanstaff has secured its place on the GrowthAccelerator – the UK government backed service reserved for ambitious, high growth businesses.
And with the help of a matched funding provided by the GrowthAccelerator, Swanstaff is now sponsoring 13 of its senior management team to undertake a management development programme with Exponential Training. The programme leads to one of our professional management qualifications accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
I am delighted that Swanstaff has chosen Exponential Training to support the development of its management team. I am sure that there are managers from similarly ambitious businesses reading this blog – if you think you or your organisation would benefit from a management development programme or even the GrowthAccelerator service, call me for a chat on 01455 845071 or contact us.