Making It Matter
Creating a manifesto everyone in your company can get behind
In the early stages of a company, culture often falls into place without much intention. Teams are small, things move fast, and taking time to reflect or refine can be hard.
Changing is hard, but the need to update values is a sign of a healthy company. It’s also why each team here at Wisetail has a mix of new and seasoned people — with new blood comes new thinking. And, as new employees are integrated (or perhaps as you become part of a larger business unit), it creates an opportunity to build and refine the culture.
A shared set of values, or a manifesto as we’ve come to call it, is something your whole team can get behind. It’s easy to pull together a smorgasbord of token values or motivational mantras and paste them up on the wall. But a manifesto that truly sums up your organization’s values will help preserve the aspects of your company’s culture that matter most.
Why does establishing a company manifesto matter?
The literal definition of a manifesto is a public declaration of motives and intent. As an organization, it tells the world why what you’re doing matters and leads your team to do what matters.
At Wisetail, our manifesto is intended to guide us on every level: individually, departmentally, and as an organization as a whole. Whether that be the features we choose to put on our roadmap or how we go about building them, the way we treat our customers or go about making day-to-day decisions — our manifesto keeps us aligned. It’s not an exhaustive set of tips and tactics to build an empire of an organization, but it is a set of values that explains how we think and the motives behind our work.
While every company should develop a unique set of company values, we want to share the why and how behind refining our manifesto. As simple and short as it might be, it took months and multiple workshops to collect, organize, and huddle as a team to whittle down what matters most to us collectively. Here’s what we came up with:
Our Manifesto Workshop Process
We created a process to identify and prioritize core themes, ensuring we got to the heart of what matters most to our company.
Put People First
At Wisetail, our focus is on taking care of our people. Whether it be our own employees or our users, we forge relationships and invest in the wellbeing of others. We know life extends beyond the workplace walls. But since the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, we make it a priority to provide a space for personal and professional growth.
Maintaining an iterative, inquisitive culture was high on the list when our team identified core values. We act with autonomy to pursue our individual interests, trust each other to take intelligent risks and provide honest, constructive feedback throughout the process. Ultimately, “failure” is an opportunity to learn, not something to be feared. After all, we all fall under the learning and development industry — this is an exciting space to push boundaries and take risks.
Redefine Industry Standards
To meet challenges with creative solutions, we dig into the root needs of our users and understand that one size doesn’t always fit all. We love the challenge of finding the right solution for the right person, every time.
We think the age we live in is pretty amazing. Resources, tools, insight, and inspiration are abundant. Delivering a platform where those essentials can be shared and have an impact on the workplace is something that gets us pretty jazzed too.
As we grow a community of industry experts, we’re always looking for new tips and tricks to improve the ways we work and learn. We do this by partnering closely with our clients — exchanging ideas, sharing best practices, and implementing feedback. That’s why we invest so much time in creating solution-based content, inviting new clients to a CoLab — an on-site training at our HQ — and hosting an annual user conference here in our hometown, Bozeman, Montana. These are great opportunities to foster innovation in the wider community of Learning and Development Professionals, HR Reps, People Operations, Talent Management, Employee Development, and Performance Management, alike!
Power Great Places to Work
We are committed to continuous learning. This means constantly iterating, improving and fostering that innate curiosity.
As we mentioned earlier, change is inevitable. Yet as much as we resist change, it’s also how we grow and improve. This is a sign of a healthy company. We are committed to embracing and driving growth. In turn, we want to encourage and help our clients adapt to the challenges that come with growth and offer a platform to help.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to provide unparalleled support and seek new ways of adding value in all that we do.
These are just a few things we’re working toward. We’re committed to these values, but we realize they’re not immutable — we will continue to reflect, identify and refine as we grow as a company.
Learning and Development