March 7, 2022

Not the ‘company values are BS’ rant you were expecting


This is a “company values are BS” rant. But not the one you think. 

I’ve waffled on corporate values a lot. On one hand, they should be aspirational. Something to strive towards. Even more, a way to hold people accountable for their behavior.

On the other…that rarely pans out. For most companies? It’s a bunch of bullsh*t on a website. Virtue signaling and lame employer branding.

Everyone knows it. Yet no one cares.

I don’t mean “no one cares” in a “this company is a heartless, money-grubbing, employees-last hell-hole” way.

Quite the opposite. I mean “no one cares” in an “everyone’s happy here, the vibe is 10/10 so it’s a non-issue” way.

You out there. The person reading this who actually likes your job. Can you recite your company values? (Probably not. Yes I resisted the urge to make a lame LinkedIn poll.)

We do an annual anonymous employee engagement survey (via Holistic). One of the questions last year: “In your own words, what are Hirewell’s values?”

Don’t recite them, make your own. Here’s a sample of what we got back:

“Transparency, Execution, People first, Business second”

“Focus on the employees, doing great work for our clients and being a leader in the industry.”

“Hirewell values it’s clients and employees. They want to provide all tools to succeed. They believe a good strong foundation will bring good employees and more clients.”

“Hire good people that are good at their job.”

“No a$$holes. Empathy. Quality work. Work hard.”

We do have our values listed on our website. (Pandemic project.) Put a lot of thought into it too. Pretty accurate, imo.

How did the team do?

Technically? All wrong. The last one hit a keyword though.

Guess what: I don’t care. Why? Because they’re all actually right.

????The experience your team has is more important than the experience you want them to have.

Now, I know someone out there is gonna say we should be reinforcing values in all aspects of the work experience. Using them as teaching tools, etc.


You could embrace employee-driven values. Because that’s what makes a good environment vs a bad one anyway.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and values are in the minds of your team.

Don’t hire a$$holes and you’re most of the way there. (No, that wasn’t a ‘correct’ answer either. But it’s the only one that matters.)

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