Unlocking Values with Andrew Stegmann
Core values are principles and beliefs that are the cornerstones of a company’s actions. They are guiding principles for your employees, the company culture and business strategies. In this day, stakeholders – internally and externally are asking companies to be transparent about their company values in an effort to hold them accountable. More and more, it has become apparent that the consumers are aligning themselves with companies that reflect and resonate with their own personal values.
Andrew believes that a business is a collection of people (read employees) with their own personal values, believing that their personal actions are right. Thus, it almost becomes imperative to define your own company values in efforts to not only build team cohesion but to achieve a collective goal and gain.
Stegmann says that defining company values with your employees is important so that they know what values to evoke in their personal decision making. More so, to identify which values closely resonate with them and that they can live out boldly, and which ones they may need to work on.
Relocation Africa presents their Four Core Values
After a 6-week robust, extensive workshop ran by Relocation Africa’s HR Generalist, Joy Jackson, the team defined Relocation Africa’s four company values. Every Wednesday, the team gathered to discuss their personal values and values they ‘think’ Relocation Africa represents. Stegmann highlights that the reason for this 6-week course was to create a collaborative space for employee and employer to define values not only to publicise but to define the true reflection of who they are.
“It is important to understand in defining our values that we are not trying to create some desirable, fictitious, theoretical values but to assess and document what the values in the business are”
After an intense six-week deliberation, the team is proud to announce their four core values:
Our attitude towards change is an opportunity to be better. Adapt to progress.
We proudly hold ourselves to the highest standards in all our actions. We build trust through responsible actions and honest relationships.
CONSIDER THE PERSON
We believe in the power of each of our differences – Seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another
I DO IT, I OWN IT!
We accept accountability for what we are entrusted with by our stakeholders.
Values as a structural framework in Decision Making
Speaking to Stegmann is quite interesting as I ask why it is imperative to document and publicize a company’s values. He says, “Our team needs to see what our values are, to use them with their decision making. And if people are making decisions, they need to have a framework which they reference it against. We can only be more productive when people are making decisions without having to get approval to check if it is the right decision”. Indeed, values give a structural framework for decision making. Core values simplify and facilitate the decision-making process for not only the employees and employer but also for the client. Clients know what the value system is of the business they are partnering with and to know what is acceptable and what is not.
Values as a counternarrative to the world’s misrepresentation of Africa
Africa is often misrepresented and mis-imaged. This draws back to centuries of work through colonialism, media, religion, education, and science. The only way to counter these narratives is with intentional acts such as defining company values for stakeholders, clients and the broader community to see. This is an active construction of a counternarrative which deconstructs and debunks the world’s negative perceptions and representation of Africa, while actively legitimising and it documents what is true and a lived experience in African by Africans.
Stegmann speaks quite extensively about the importance of having contextualised Relocation Africa’s core values. While some values may seem to be a ‘no brainer’, we must be cognisant of the Africa’s positionality in the global sphere. It is seen as a corrupt and disorderly nation. Therefore, defining and publicising their values is not only an act of internal team cohesion but an act of committing to represent Africa in a positive light.
Measuring and Monitoring the Fulfilment of Values
With almost everything in life, there is an expectation of measuring and monitoring what it is you have introduced/implemented in life and in business. In efforts to measure one’s progress with the newly implemented object or routine, one sets measuring tools or criteria for accountability.
Posing the question to Andrew, he replies “I would suggest that it is almost irrelevant, because values are supposed to be part of what you are doing. Values aren’t something to measure, they just are what they are”.
These next few weeks, we will be discussing defining core values in its entirety. From the workshop with Joy Jackson, to discussing each of the values and their alignment with Relocation Africa. Watch this space. Unlocking core values with Andrew Stegmann.