At Exasol, we have a framework for how we aim to work together to achieve our goals. It consists of an overall purpose, our motivation for what we aim to achieve, and a set of ideals for how we act – as individuals and a group. We call them our mission, vision and values.
Here, Heike Gläser, our Employee Engagement Specialist, reflects on each of these elements – with a special focus on the values.
We’ve all sat in meetings, watched videos or taken part in phone calls to discuss what a company value is, why we have them and what they should be. Here at Exasol, our values don’t stand alone. They sit in a triumvirate of elements that make up who we are as people and as a business: our mission, vision and values.
Our mission is ambitious, big and bold: “Accelerate insights from the world’s data”.
The vision shapes the direction we want to take as a business: “Be the analytics platform trusted by the world’s most ambitious organizations”.
And our values are all about how we behave in order to reach these milestones. In this blog, I’ll explain why creating and reinforcing a value-led culture is so important to us and how it’s central to what it means to be an ‘Exasolian’.
Building a positive culture
The culture of a company isn’t just something to put on the About page on the website, or to touch on briefly in recruitment brochures or award entries. It’s a pattern of repeated behaviors that define how we treat each other, our customers, investors and newcomers. In short, it’s a framework that we all live and work by to collectively achieve our goals – both individually and as a business.
Above all, values are a great leveller in a business, because they apply to everyone. The cornerstone of behavior, purpose and motivation, values should be integral to the training, feedback and information given to every single employee, from new starters to the C-suite.
The following six values represent the things we all really care about as a business and as employees – they are what make us Exasolians. By building our culture around these values, we believe we are equipped to achieve the very best outcomes for ourselves, our colleagues and our customers.
- Extraordinary Customer Experiences
Almost every company will claim to have excellent customer service high in their list of priorities. But what does this actually mean? For us, it’s all about honesty. We don’t always know the answers, and sometimes we might get things wrong. But we work to go the extra mile, to build great relationships with all our customers and forge long-lasting partnerships. In the analytics industry, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, so we aim to collaborate with all our customers to solve problems and unlock new insights.
- All for One, One for All
Everything we do is with the team in mind. The soul of our business is the supportive network of colleagues who help, advise and nurture each other to do their best work for our customers, partners and the company. A supported and respected team is a happy and productive one, so this value must, and is, instilled from the very top and throughout the business. This is done by nurturing an environment in which Exasolians trust each other and, as much as possible, assume good intent in daily action and communication.
- Every Voice Counts
This value is an important one, but also tricky to navigate. It is of course preferable to try to involve everybody in every decision, but that’s not always possible or practical. Regardless of the inclusiveness of an organization, it’s a simple fact that some people have to make decisions and sometimes these may have to differ from the opinions or preferences of others.
However, even if the ultimate decision is down to a select few, it’s crucial to acknowledge and listen to as many voices as possible along the way, encouraging everybody to state their opinions and taking these into consideration. We recognize that compromise is the cornerstone of every healthy relationship and taking views seriously and trying to meet people in the middle is crucial in making everybody feel heard and taken seriously.
- Always Learning
One of the beliefs we live by at Exasol is that whatever you learn, no one can take that away from you. So, we take every opportunity to improve, to broaden our knowledge and share it with our colleagues. This can be technical or academic training – for example we each have budget available to for personal, professional development. Or it could be through reading, doing or observing.
And then there’s the social type of learning, the kind that’s done on the job and through gaining experience. Gaining knowledge from difficult situations, from the people we work with and, most importantly, learning from mistakes. Every situation, challenge or crisis has value because of what we can take from them.
- Bring It!
Speaking of challenges, this next value is all about tackling things head on. As employees and as humans, we thrive on being challenged. Ambitious targets allow us to go just far enough outside of our comfort zone to drive ourselves forward. By setting high standards for ourselves and those around us, we create a culture of determination and success.
The beauty of high standards is that they are different for different people. An ambitious target for the CIO, for example, will be miles apart from that of a junior technician, but in the context of their own career path and experience, achieving these targets will bring them equal amounts of satisfaction and reward.
- Hearts and Minds
Finally, my personal favourite — our hearts and minds value. This is where we consider all the things that drive us and govern us as humans, not as employees. From mental health and wellbeing to ensuring people have a healthy work-life balance, this is all about making sure we look after ourselves and each other. Everyone has a value of their own, and we encourage everyone to recognize and celebrate this. In a world and a company where arguably, we can be anything, we ultimately want people to be themselves – and be proud of that.
Want to join us?
If you’d like to find out more about working at Exasol, visit our Careers page. Here you’ll see the roles we’re hiring for and learn more about life at the analytics platform trusted by the world’s most ambitious organizations.