Why Shared Values Matter
Over my 30+ years in business (wow that went fast!), one of the major lessons I have learnt is the importance of not only a company having values for all its employees to use as a compass in their daily activities, but, most importantly, that the employee shares the company’s values. If not, the consequences for both the employee and employer can be detrimental with neither being satisfied and ultimately leading to a parting of ways which is such a wasted investment of time for all.
When looking for a new role myself 12 years ago, one of the most important items on my checklist was ‘Do I share the same values as this potential employer?’ Thankfully, the answer was ‘yes’ and 12 years on I am learning and growing every year and have a strong reference point which guides my decision making.
When interviewing candidates for roles as well as learning about their technical competence, I focus on their values and belief systems as I believe it is extremely important to understand these to assess how well the person will fit within our team and how happy they will be when working with us. Our team is as strong as our weakest link and one chink in our chain has a ripple effect which can impact not only the immediate team but our global team, clients and suppliers. You can train someone technically; you cannot change their values.
Living our value
Many years ago, in my earlier career, I organized a team workshop and one of the items on the agenda was, of course; Our Values. The facilitator asked the team to write down as many of the company values as they could remember which delivered mixed results – maybe 14 values was ambitious! What struck me was the importance of both visibility of the values and acknowledgment of the values when working with colleagues using them as a reference tool to help decision making and to deal with potential conflicts. It is easy to espouse the importance of values, but not always so easy to implement them in our working day! When used properly, they allow for robust discussion and difference of opinion – both of which are healthy and enable growth and learning for all – as they set out the ‘broad rules of engagement’.
The PharmaLex Experience
In 2017 PharmaLex experienced exponential growth; both organic and M&A. As a result of this growth, the importance of developing a shared set of values across the global organization became a top priority for the Senior Management Team to unite our newly expanded global team.
A working Group was tasked with collaborating with employees from all regions, disciplines and levels to ensure our new values embodied the ideals of our employees as a whole. To accomplish this, workshops were held with different representative groups from multiple countries. This allowed the working group to identify the most important values of the majority of employees and to create meaningful values which truly reflect the beliefs of our global team. These were then rolled out to all employees at local levels to receive feedback which was reviewed and considered before finalizing our PharmaLex values:
Integrity and Respect – keeping this in mind, when opposing views are being discussed enables an exchange of opinions in a safe environment.
Quality Focus – all of us giving 100% and accepting responsibility for our contribution to the whole ultimately leading to the highest standard of service to each other and to our clients.
Dynamic Approach – understanding the importance of enthusiasm and passion for what we do as a company and the difference we make to peoples’ lives. Versatility and creativity in a highly regulated environment allow us to offer innovative, pragmatic solutions to our clients.
International Mindset – embracing our global team and cultural differences appreciating the incredible value diversity brings to a team.
Growth and Learning – If you are not growing, you are dying (metaphorically speaking)! The importance of the culture within PharmaLex which empowers employees and encourages, and values individual and team development cannot be underestimated. We work in a rapidly changing industry and our ability to embrace change and learn from past experiences is paramount to our success as a company and as individuals, to our personal fulfilment.
Collaboration – as the saying goes: ‘teamwork makes the dream work’. I totally appreciate this sounds clichéd; however, it rings true. Knowing that we work in an environment where collaboration is encouraged and that it is ‘safe’ to ask for advice/opinion from our colleagues makes us stronger as a team and can have an exponential impact on the quality of service we provide to our clients
I am proud to work for a company which invests both time and money in embedding our values across the organization and which promotes inclusion and diversification across our global team. We are encouraged to truly live our values daily rather than seeing our value statements as a ‘nice’ to have or an interesting wall hanging/marketing tool for our clients. As the company has grown over the last few years, meaningful consideration and action has been taken to ensure that as employers, initiatives have been introduced to support these values and that employees have a voice to offer feedback and suggestions for improvement for the benefit of all.
Jane Lyons, Country Manager Ireland
One PharmaLex #strongertogether