There are really two common issues with company values these days: values are either just slapped together and are meaningless in the actual day-to-day operations of a company, or values conflict with one another, leaving employees unclear about which to prioritize in certain situations. At (un)Common Logic, neither of these common issues is a problem.
When I first interviewed with (un)Common Logic, I was impressed by the emphasis on their core values and their focus on the success of the team as a whole. This was one of the primary reasons that I was so interested in pursuing an opportunity here. However, even after I started working here, I quickly realized that I had still underestimated exactly how seriously these values are taken and how they impact every decision that the team makes. Aside from the positive energy of the organization, the wonderful team here at (un)Common Logic, and the success that our business has seen, it is the commitment to our values and the respect that (un)Common Logic has for its employees as human beings that has truly made it one of the best work environments I have ever been a part of.
Doing the right thing is one of our six core values:
- Do What It Takes to Deliver Excellent Results
- Communicate Directly and Honestly
- Have the Right Attitude
- Do What You Say You’re Going to Do
- Do the Right Thing
- Always Learn and Try New Things
How Do We Define “Do the Right Thing”?
Posting about your company’s core values is great but actually doing the right thing in day-to-day life involves a lot of intricate details. So, what does “Do the Right Thing” actually mean at (un)Common Logic?
Doing the right thing encompasses many aspects of our work and considers how our work impacts our lives overall. It includes making ethical decisions in every aspect of our business, supporting our teammates and celebrating one another, and making tough decisions that support the well-being of the team as a whole. In a way, doing the right thing combines several of our other values (excellence, communication, attitude), but doing the right thing is an example of one thing being greater than the sum of its parts.
From my time at (un)Common Logic, I’ve seen that doing the right thing is a way of life, embodied by leadership and embraced by everyone on our team. It’s something that is difficult to put into words, but you recognize it when you see it. Moreover, it’s something that makes you want to stand behind the organization wholeheartedly. Since I’ve started, the way that the values take part in the actions and decisions of everyone within the organization is what makes us truly unCommon and what makes me proud every day to be a part of this team.
How Does the Team Embody “Do the Right Thing”?
Aside from leadership, do the values actually matter to the team? Undoubtedly. From the first day of training, new employees are encouraged to use the values as their north star in any decisions they make and are reviewed on their ability to follow their goals as part of the annual review process. On a quarterly basis, the entire company votes for the client team who best represented the values and delivered for that client. On top of that, the six team members that best embody each of the values are voted on by the entire company and celebrated at our December holiday event – these awards are specifically for their embodiment of the values.
“Do the Right Thing” has weight in making ethical decisions and in following the code that (un)Common Logic lays out for all of its employees as we deliver excellent service to our clients. As just one example, one year during the Black Friday/Cyber Weekend period (traditionally one of the busiest weekends for our company), a large ecommerce client adjusted an offer in real-time, based on recent customer purchase behavior and a competitor cyber deal launch. This last-minute change came after normal business hours. Knowing how critical this weekend was to their business (20% of their annual revenue), the team collectively took responsibility for updating each media channel and had the offer rotated by 11 pm. This allowed the client to be competitive and resulted in a highly successful holiday promotion.
Although the bottom line of the company is something that we aim to improve every year, leadership does not put that above doing the right thing for our team. While very rare, our leaders have turned down business when they were concerned that the prospective client would not value or work with our team with a respectful, partnership mindset. Even during the most difficult decisions, doing the right thing is at the front of our mind, especially knowing that we have the complete trust of clients.
When looking at the list of values that the company stands by, you will notice that work-life balance and maintaining a positive company culture are not explicitly listed. However, this is still a priority of the entire team at (un)Common Logic. As a team, we look out for one another, check in on each other and help out when we are struggling, and never expect that the demands of our work create such a drain on team members that it becomes unmanageable. Leadership has this idea in mind constantly, which is what has led to the creation of such a positive and cheerful workplace, even in such a competitive and demanding business.
What Does (un)Common Logic Do When Values Conflict with One Another?
What are you supposed to do when values conflict with one another? It is important to establish up front the importance of each value and its priority in the eyes of the leadership team.
One of (un)Common Logic’s main core values is “Do What it Takes to Deliver Excellent Results.” This is obviously a crucial value to the company and to our clients because it shows that we recognize the importance of our clients’ businesses, even when it means working extra hard to deliver those results. But what happens when delivering excellent results to a client becomes an unreasonable strain on employees’ ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance? As in any agency, consulting, or professional services business, sometimes a client relationship or business situation changes in ways that create exceptional pressure or strain on the team. However, the real test of a company’s values comes in how these issues are addressed. The first step is always another of our values, communicate directly and honestly, and then a plan is devised for improving the situation. I’ve personally seen how carefully leadership at (un)Common Logic considers the value of clients to (un)Common Logic and whether certain relationships with clients put more strain on employees than is productive for our company culture. Although parting ways with a client is rare, leadership takes balancing client relationships and employee mental health very seriously and are swift in acting to prioritize our team’s wellness and productivity.
Obviously, leadership cares about the bottom line of our agency, but I’ve personally never seen a company that cared so much about its employees’ mental health and work-life balance. These are the instances when our values are put to the test, and when our agency proves that the values are more than just words. Instead, the values (especially “Do the Right Thing”) are the backbone of the organization, and drive decision-making on a daily basis, even in the most challenging decisions.
What Do Values Add to a Company Culture?
Aside from “Do the Right Thing”, all values are kept in mind in all aspects of our agency’s day-to-day operations. In order to build something as intricate as a positive company culture, sticking to the values is a must. Having a common perspective, from the hiring process through annual reviews, ensures everyone is aligned and truly working together as a team. From the CEO down, everyone at (un)Common Logic embodies the values in their own way. Out of the places that I’ve worked, no organization has prioritized values and company culture so much as (un)Common Logic. Through all of the exciting developments and growth that happens in our organization, it takes discipline and integrity to keep the values at the heart of our company and ensure that all employees understand that they are expected to stick with them. Though we have grown exponentially in the past year, I have the utmost confidence that (un)Common Logic will continue to use its values to maintain the beautiful company culture we have created, and I am excited to see all the places that we will go, as a team.
Want to know more about how (un)Common Logic communicates directly and honestly or builds our winning culture?
Whether you’re thinking to hire (un)Common Logic or come work within our team, we know you’ll see our values in action every day!