You only need to drive between Auckland and Hamilton to see why this section of the North Island is being coined ‘the growth corridor’. And sitting in the heart of it all is the Waikato District Council (WDC).
WDC is geared for the growth opportunities its region presents. The organisation’s vision is to achieve liveable, thriving and connected communities, and they’re on a journey to making this happen.
The Council knew the success of this vision relied on the clear articulation of its internal values, and to achieve that, these values needed to resonate with both staff and the communities the Council serves.
And that is when HGB stepped in. We began with an understanding of the Council’s existing values and then, after conducting a quick-fire interview session with WDC employees from across the organisation, we further developed those values which would go on to provide the foundation for WDC’s vision.
Up until now, WDC’s values were identified under the acronym, ABC-IT. These stood for accountability, business focused, customer centric and integrated teams.
While staying true to these pillars, HGB’s distillation process determined that the values moving forward needed to better reflect the innovative nature and community-minded spirit of the organisation and the Waikato District it operates in.
The quick-fire interview session allowed for valuable insight into the thoughts of WDC employees and the language they use on an everyday basis.
Our robust distillation process and values methodology uncovered four key values that stayed true to the organisation’s operative approach and better reflected the language of its employees:
Represent the district (formerly accountability)
To be accountable is to represent the district and WDC employees do exactly that, no matter what role they have within the organisation. They are transparent, responsible and do the right thing to make their community a better place.
Geared for growth (formerly business focused)
To be business focused and make the most of opportunities their district offers, WDC employees need to be geared for growth. They have a growth-driven mindset, are open to learning, improving, adapting and delivering results. They embrace change, they’re agile and they’re committed. They’re geared for growth!
Here to serve (formerly customer centric)
As a Council, WDC acknowledges its role in providing a service to clients and customers, but as an organisation they’re more than just customer centric; they are here to serve. Every WDC employee strives for positive outcomes. They partner, co-design, and plan in order to deliver to happy customers and make a difference.
Team up (formerly integrated teams)
To achieve their vision of liveable, thriving and connected communities, WDC knows it must work within itself and with its communities and the best way to achieve common goals is to work together for the greater good. WDC employees are 100% engaged and committed to growth. They team up to achieve results.
Defining their values was one step in the process but WDC knew they needed to take the exercise further. They needed to bring their values to life. Each of the four values is now a pillar of the organisation’s mantra DO IT RIGHT with the ‘i’ in right representative of every WDC employee.
Today, step inside WDC’s head office in Ngaruawahia, near the base of the Hakarimata Steps and the “DO IT RIGHT” crest adorns the reception wall. As staff walk through to their open plan working environment, the Council’s vision “Liveable, Thriving and Connected Communities” sits pride of place on a pictorial wall.
And instead of walking down the corridor to the café, staff now walk down their very own Values Street, where the language they use, the language they understand, and the language that is part of their every day conversation forms the values of behaviour for their organisation.
“We love working with HGB. Their fresh perspective and ideas push us to look at ourselves differently. Our organisation and theirs share many values which makes it easy for HGB to seamlessly step in and work with our people. They’re a forward thinking, exciting and clever company.” – Jacob Quinn, Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager.
To date, we have supported WDC with the rollout of their values across HR activities, team learning days, publications and internal environmental design.
HGB’s Strategic Marketing Director, Jacqui Gage-Brown says the developing partnership with WDC is reflective of two organisations understanding the importance of the role values play within an organisation, not just to establish an organisation’s culture but to clearly identify that organisational identity.
“WDC are a shining example of how values should be brought to life in an organisation. Values form the pillars of behaviour so they need to be evident in every day routines. WDC’s adoption and rollout of ‘Do It RiGHT’ indicates the power of taking the time to understand and define an organisation’s identity.”
Have you defined your organisation’s identity? Do you live and breath your values every day? Talk to the team at our marketing agency today to find out how you can shape the future of your organisation.