Values in Action: An Interview with the Winners of our First Values Awards

Just a couple of months ago, the KultraLab team gathered together for a momentous occasion: the unveiling of our company values. After several enthusiastic discussions and ideation sessions, we proudly introduced our four defining pillars: Dare to Lead, In it Together, Make a Difference, and Give Your All. To celebrate the launch, everyone received their own set of value cards and a delicious hand-iced biscuit provided by Biscuiteers.

Since launching our values, they’ve become an integral part of our day-to-day life, guiding our daily actions and behaviours. 

The Creation Process 

According to renowned organisational psychologist Edgar Schein’s theory, culture is much more than what an organisation claims to value; it’s about how those values are represented in the daily actions and behaviours of its people, including the values they uphold when nobody’s watching. So, we made the conscious decision to involve every member of the KultraLab family in each step of the process to understand what matters most to them, ensuring we created values that mirror not only our professional aspirations, but the team’s personal values. 

The KultraLab ‘Kulture’ 

To ensure our values aren’t just words on a page, we threaded them into the fabric of our daily existence. Our #kudos Slack channel has become a lively hub of acknowledgement where the team can shine a spotlight on those who embody any of the four values. We’ve even woven values hashtags into our daily comms, a constant reminder of the principles that guide us. And the best part? Our quarterly values awards, complete with adorable Jellycat mascots, where we celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the team by recognising them for one of the values. 

Our Values Winners 

I sat down with our first four mascot holders to understand what their respective values mean to them, how each value aligns with their personal values, and the impact receiving their award has had on their outlook and performance at work. Let’s meet our winners: Catherine Blackburn (#daretolead), Ruth Dench (#inittogether), Zoila Marenco (#makeadifference), and Ed Pentelow (#giveyourall). 

Dare to Lead 

Values - Dare to lead

Speaking on #daretolead, Catherine passionately explained how this value empowers everyone, regardless of job title or seniority, to step up and take charge when the time is right. Catherine shared that she connects with this value on a personal level, expressing how both in and out of work, she tends to stand up and take the lead on things she’s passionate about. 

In it Together 

Values - In it together

Ruth felt strongly that #inittogether is all about ensuring nobody’s left behind by cultivating collaboration and teamwork, always with empathy in mind. On embodying this value, Ruth detailed her passion for creating ‘psychologically safe spaces’ by celebrating diverse opinions, ideas and identities. 

Make a Difference 

Values - Make a difference

Zoila, the current advocate for #makeadifference believes that her value is about making a positive impact on those around you. To embody this in her daily life, Zoila always tries to adopt a positive outlook, citing that something as simple as a smile or ‘hello’ can be enough to make someone’s day. 

Give Your All 

Values - 
Give your all

Ed, the recipient of the #giveityourall award expressed the ripple effect of collective dedication and passion, especially in a smaller business. On embodying this daily, Ed detailed his willingness to put his best foot forward in every situation, even if it’s not within his immediate skillset. 

Impact on Outlook and Performance 

Since receiving her values award, Ruth shared how it’s given her permission to take ownership of her actions and validated her approach. Echoing Ruth’s sentiment, Ed expressed a sense of ‘autonomy’ and a newfound appreciation for celebrating others. Zoila recalled the growth in her confidence, and how putting names to actions she was doing already has empowered her to celebrate her achievements. Feeling deeply connected to the values, Catherine mentioned keeping her values cards ‘front and centre’ on her desk, as well as her mascot, acting as a constant source of inspiration, guiding her daily decisions, even when things don’t go to plan. 

Conclusion 

Reflecting on these stories, it’s clear that our values are much more than empty words – they’re slowly becoming the heartbeat of our culture. In a short time, the values have created a positive environment where the team feels valued and celebrated for their successes and can confidently take ownership of their decisions. Whilst we’re still at the start of our journey, we can’t wait to take you along with us as we continue to evolve our values.