1, #18 - When Company Values Aren't Valuable
On cutting through the noise — Estimated Read Time: 55 seconds.
According to a recent report, company leaders view ‘culture and values’ as the most important thing to communicate to their teams. But employees disagree: They most value updates on operational changes and company goals. Which are things that leaders put toward the bottom of their priority list. This is troubling, but not surprising. What it ultimately reveals is that communications around shared values—which should give employees a filter to cut through all the noise—are instead just noise, themselves. This week, I came across two companies that have found a different path: (1) Late Checkout (a product studio) intentionally made the 3 values for their new community action-oriented. For instance, “Be surprisingly thoughtful” prompts specific behavior in a way that “Respect” does not. (2) The Browser Company skipped the typical list-and-bullets format entirely. Instead, their CEO wrote a 4,500 word essay about his first road trip. The fact that I can’t easily reduce that piece to a simple summary is kind of the point: All the details create context that brings the abstract into reality. So, while I hope you don’t have to write a company values statement this week, this is still a useful reminder: Keep your communication short and actionable, or go all in and tell a story that people will remember.
Insight inspired by: Axios HQ’s 2023 State of Essential Workplace Communications report (via the Smart Workweek newsletter) + The Late Checkout team and their (surprisingly) thoughtful community values + The Browser Company’s incredible Notes on
ValuesRoadtrips (via the Radio Bebop newsletter).