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3Q Digital just published a pair of reports (one for B2B, one for B2C) based on CMO surveys identifying challenges, obstacles, and priorities. In both surveys, CMOs listed employee health and well-being and company survival, in that order, as their top business concerns.

I’m personally heartened that executives are taking such a personal approach to the challenges 2020 has brought all of us. At 3Q, we’ve tackled the concern of employee health and well-being on several fronts: encouraging people to take PTO, introducing a monthly Town Hall series to foster discussion and education around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and keeping a very consistent, transparent flow of communication to all employees about remote policies and procedures, mental health resources, return-to-office planning, financial updates, and more. 

Most importantly, we’ve introduced a refreshed set of company values, which I introduced here, and it’s the process of operationalizing those values that I’d like to talk about in this post.

You can find study after study that shows the benefits of having a strong company culture, from boosting employee well-being to gaining a competitive edge, both of which are top of mind these days. And I view values (especially those informed by employee input, as ours are) as having a critical role in defining and supporting that culture. This goes far beyond defining a set of fitting values and adding them to your website; values must be lived, celebrated, and reinforced at all levels of the company.

At 3Q, we’re operationalizing our values in the following ways:

  • Putting our values front and center in our job reqs, interviews, and onboarding processes
  • Incorporating them into our performance reviews
  • Training our team on values-based leadership and creating psychological safety 
  • Encouraging employees (on Slack and Reflektive) to post public acknowledgement for peers who demonstrate those values
  • Creating Slack emojis to represent our values 
  • Establishing awards for employees who most fully live our values
  • Celebrating 3Qers who demonstrate our values in our All Hands and monthly newsletters
  • Regularly challenging all employees, including executives, to use our values as a framework for initiatives and communications.

Our goal is to make sure that every 3Qer, whether they’ve been with the company for one day or 1,000 days, knows our values and feels inspired to live them consistently. As CEO, it’s my job to set an example for others to follow, which is one of the most important parts of my role especially in a year nobody could have predicted.