There comes a time in every organization when you need to sit down and evaluate where you are on a cultural level.
Are our values still relevant to the Freya team?
Have our values kept up with our evolution as a business?
We asked these questions throughout last year, prompting a fruitful dialogue into the current state of our company culture and how we could reevaluate our values.
The Old Values
The values that we have carried since the company’s inception are as follows.
- Quench our thirst for learning and growth
- Build our family with compassionate, candid, and clear communication
- Lean into the challenges of our work
- Have fun enjoying what we work on
- Partner and collaborate with our customers to help them find and achieve their goals
- Build balanced solutions that delight our customers
- Use data and apply domain knowledge to discover the answer
These values epitomized the mentality at Freya for years, and still do to a certain degree, however as you may have noticed, they are long and convoluted. They’re difficult to digest, to put it mildly. We needed to rethink this.
How did we go about adapting the values you ask? Culture Committee to the rescue!
Culture Committee Takes the Lead
Freya Systems created a Culture Committee in 2022. This team is comprised of non-management staff who work together to develop ways to measure and evaluate how all employees experience and influence Freya’s company culture. The team also develops initiatives to enhance that culture so we can all more easily live our company values and thrive in our workplace.
The committee developed a nearly year-long process of reevaluating and redesigning our core values. The process began with polling the staff about their own personal values, how they see them reflected in Freya’s values, and how the current values resonate with them in their day-to-day work. The cultural committee workshopped those survey results to develop a new draft of our values that was presented to the staff again for feedback. After many more discussions, we have developed a new set of values that are succinct, honest, and reflective of Freya’s unique culture.
The New Values
Curiosity – We are driven to learn more, think critically, and fuel our growth.
Ownership – We take personal responsibility for our work.
Tenacity – We are determined to work through problems and deliver solutions.
Compassion – We strive to exhibit thoughtfulness, kindness, and mutual respect.
A yearning to learn new things is embedded in our daily lives at Freya. We are each given 40 hours a year to dedicate ourselves to learning something beneficial to our own growth. Team members from different departments present new tools, coding methodologies, and projects contributing to our field of expertise at our monthly learning meeting. Our slack channel is filled with new ideas. Intellectual curiosity is the catalyst to learning so we wanted to reframe it into this new perspective.
One thing that resonates throughout Freya is our ability to work independently as well as collectively. We each share pride in our personal accountability to our work and need strong communication skills to collaborate effectively. Our management embodies a level of trust and empowerment in every team member that allows them to flourish working in their own way while exceeding expectations with the customer.
In the software and data science fields, challenges are no rare occurrence. New data, new architectures, and new objectives provide the team with fresh obstacles to overcome every day. This has led to a culture of perseverance and determination. Our team pushes through difficulties in problems. We think on our feet and outside the box when it comes to conquering a challenge. Tenacity was the right choice for this element of our culture.
Respect and mutual compassion are a must in a thriving company culture. We make sure that every team member feels safe to speak their mind, share their own stories, and express themselves. We support a culture of openness, acceptance, and diversity of thought that trickles down into our work.
Always Growing and Learning
We aren’t finished, now that we have developed our new core values. We will now begin the process of evaluating how to better live each value throughout the company – from the design of our interview and hiring process to how we conduct our meetings. In 2023, we will dedicate each quarter to a value and further explore how we live that value as individuals, teams, and the company as a whole.
Every company and individual should take a moment to reflect and reassess whether their values still speak to their current state of being.