Creating Meaningful Values, the CloudOps Way

August 21, 2020 / Julia Simon

As CloudOps continues to grow as a services organization, we realized a couple of things: 1) our people are our priority – without them, our organization wouldn’t exist, and 2) it was time to identify, document, and communicate the importance of the values we already embody as reference points for our decisions and actions.

Values are the guiding principles that shape and inform leadership, business decisions, give purpose, and create cohesion among the broader team. Having common goals and shared accountability creates more trust and engagement among employees. But, how do you create meaningful values that resonate across the organization and that people are proud of?

I recently ran an internal focus group for an HR project around our employer value proposition and a question about our values arose. One skeptical response from a new team member went something like: “company values are just templates that don’t mean anything; most people don’t even know what they are or how they are actionable.” This seems like a valid assumption, given that many companies create core value statements for show: empty and idealized words that are meant to inspire people with lackluster stock photos. This questioning got me thinking about our own values: do people know what they are and do they think they are meaningful?

Earlier this year, pre-pandemic, we set out to identify our CloudOps values. We polled our employees, we led workshops, one-on-one interviews, and we had the leadership team weigh-in. With the data, we were able to create affinity groups and pull keywords that came up again and again. What we identified were themes that our team already embodies. It wasn’t a forced fit of words to actions, but rather the other way around: putting words to the actions that we already do naturally, without effort, that are already at the essence of our culture.

The result is these magical words that encompass what we do, how we do it, and most importantly why we do what we do.

Our core values are:

People

We are a group of cloud champions who collaborate to solve challenging problems. We easily connect with one another in a supportive environment, build strong working relationships, and develop lasting friendships.

Teamwork

We operate as a Team of Teams coming together around shared goals. We are inclusive, mutually accountable, and together we deliver innovative solutions that help our customers outcompete.

Continuous Improvement

We are a learning-oriented company that is growing and evolving through the iteration of cloud career opportunities, projects, and solutions.

Communication

We support responsiveness and transparency in all our interactions and believe in managing expectations.

Most we already do well, some are on the aspirational side, where we know we need to make a more conscious effort to enhance the employee experience. This exercise has put words to what we strive for on an ongoing and daily basis, the pillars of what makes CloudOps a great place to work. While it starts at the top with the leadership team, the effects of this are seen and felt throughout our team of teams because we all embody these values whether we realize it or not. At the end of our most recent focus groups about employer branding, it’s safe to say that people work here for the quality of our culture, the integrity, openness, and trust that we cultivate. And that is what makes our values meaningful: you have to live them, feel them, use them.

Note: as a fun experiment we took to Tiktok and created short videos for each value. You can check them out here.

Julia SimonJulia Simon

After nearly 15 years in marketing, my journey has led me to the world of HR. I strive to understand what motivates people, creates effective teams, and how the role of community participation and ongoing learning affects people. I am happiest when I can collaborate with others, be on my bike, and spend time with my son.