How our new core values reflect who we are and how we got there
At Healthify, we're building a world where no one's health is hindered by their need. That is our mission, and it's one of the pillars of who we are as an organization. The other pillar that supports our mission is our core values. When our People Operations team at Healthify came into existence in 2017, the company had only 2 core values:
- Leave your ego at the door
- Own your outcome
These two values were a well-intentioned start but they weren't written down, defined, or formally codified. When we asked Healthifytes "Do you know what our core values are?" more often than not the answer was "no". We realized that we needed to rework our core values into ones that are actionable and truly represents who we are and what we aspire to be.
So in January and February of 2018, we went to work! Now, nearly 6 weeks later and excited about where we landed, we want to share our new core values in hopes of giving you a sense of who Healthify is, what drives us, and where we're going.
Defining Core Values
When we started on our journey into reworking our core values, our first hurdle was designing an approach that would help us identify what our values really are. In order to fully understand what drives us as a company, we needed every Healthifyte to be part of that process. With that in mind, we divided our approach into the following steps:
- All Company Workshops
- Creating Version 1
- Small Groups
- The Final Version
- Putting Values into Action
I. All Company Workshops
Over the course of a week, our People Operations team conducted 2 core values workshops. The goal of our workshops was to learn about the values that mattered most to our employees and to narrow down which ones are central to who we are as a company. In other words, we all have a world of values that guide us, but our "core values" are the ones that are so relevant to who we are as a company, that they will hold true no matter what.
Each workshop lasted about 90 minutes and required every Healthifyte to identify events in their professional lives that were significant to them - whether they were moments of great success or failure. They wrote the positive events above a line on a page and any negative events below the line. Events closest to the top of the page were the biggest successes, and the ones closest to the bottom were the biggest failures.
Next, we asked each Healthifyte to identify what values were present or absent for each of these instances. For the positive experiences - what values were present that made that event particularly satisfying? For the negative experiences - what values were missing from these negative events?
Lastly, we gave each Healthifyte 3 sticky notes and asked them to choose 3 values out of all the ones they'd written down that either showed up most often, had the most impact, closely represented who Healthify currently is, or identified an area we needed to improve.
II. Creating Version 1
Once both workshops were complete, we consolidated the sticky notes from both sessions and began identifying the largest clusters of notes. From the collections, we learned that the top 5 values that Healthifytes care about are:
- Having a culture of learning and growth
- Treating each other with empathy
- Setting a high bar for our work
- Working in a supportive and collaborative environment
- Having a culture of feedback and respect
III. Small groups
Our next step was to take this initial version and run it by a select group of Healthifytes for addtional input. We wanted these groups to be diverse - old employees and new, employees from different teams, different positions, remote and HQ - so we could make sure everyone at our company was represented in this step.
The feedback from these groups was mixed. While everyone mostly agreed that the initial 5 core values were written in inclusive, actionable language, there was still some concern they were too general and many felt like the values didn't reflected Healthify's uniqueness. Using that feedback, we created a second version of core values which we shared with our team of managers for additional input. Over the course of the next 2 weeks, we collected feedback and updated our values once more for our final version.
IV. The Final Version
After a month of planning, workshops, and revisions, we finally identified four core values that represent who we are and what we want to aspire to be. Our new core values are:
- We Lead with Empathy
- We Lean Into Vulnerability
- We Rise Above the Status Quo
- We Love the Hustle
And this is how we define them:
We lead with empathy: At Healthify, we believe that kindness and empathy lead to respectful and effective communication. For that reason, we assume good intentions of one another and seek mutual understanding of our teammates, users, and customers.
We lean into vulnerability: Healthifytes are not afraid to ask for help or to give and/or receive feedback. We believe vulnerability improves trust in teams, so we take ownership of our failures, and don't shy away from tough conversations.
We Rise Above the Status Quo: All Healthifytes believe the status quo is not good enough. It causes pain for the people we serve. Healthifytes take a stand, and try and do things no one else is in the community is doing. On an individual level, we strive to always grow and improve ourselves.
We love the Hustle: Healthify is forever a startup. We live in the entrepreneurial mentality, stay scrappy, and maintain our "no job too small" mindset. We support autonomy for our employees and strive to help them. We are a team first and foremost, and we hustle together so that no one is overwhelmed, and everyone can be proud of what we're doing.
We love our new core values because they represent all of the original 5 principles that mattered to us most and they're comprehensive yet specific enough that they still uniquely reflect who we are and who we want to aspire to be. These 4 core values serve as guidelines for how we treat one another, how we treat our external stakeholders and what we want to strive for as we keep maturing as a company.
VI. Putting Values Into Action!
Since the beginning of this process, our main goal for our core values was to turn them into a purposeful tool that our employees can use and one month since their rollout, we've already started weaving our values into our everyday life!
We've added them into our onboarding for all new Healthifytes and we've set up our #Shoutout channel in Slack so whenever we give someone a shoutout, we must identify which value they're living into. We've also used these values as a framework to begin building our first performance review process and incorporated them into our interview process. Lastly, we've painted them on our office wall so we'll always remember what Healthify is all about. Creating our core values together was a meaningful experience for us as a team. Sharing our goals for our company and ourselves allowed us to be vulnerable, learn from each other, and really understand our collective vision for our future as a company.
If you think our core values are also important to you and reflect what you aspire to be, you, check out our open job postings and keep in touch with me and Healthify on Twitter. We love to meet people of all backgrounds and experiences, so don’t hesitate to reach out!