Why Communicating Company Values is Essential to the Employee Experience

October 18, 2017by Mike LepisInside Vignette


“The only competitive advantage we have is the culture and values of the company. Anyone can open up a coffee store.”
— Howard Schultz, Executive Chair, Starbucks

October 19 is World Values Day and a fitting moment to share our perspective on values in the employee experience.

A well-defined set of values (and purpose) have always been important to separate the good from the great. They are a part of the employee experience that connects founders, leaders, employees, and customers. Without values, our ideas would suffer, our services would be lackluster, and our innovation would lack passion. Values run deep and drive our businesses. As communicators, we need to embrace and celebrate their importance.

Values are a very important part of the social contract between employee and employer. They give a framework to have a two-way conversation. Open discussions about our decisions and actions are framed by our common set of values. Values are not just to guide employees how to act, they tell our executives how to lead.

When successfully written our values pick us up when we fall and see where we went wrong and how we will bounce back. And when you are challenged your values give you a framework to have a discussion how you will overcome it.

We’ve helped many clients uncover or refine their values and develop strategies to bring them to life for their employees. It is some of the most deeply rewarding work I get to do at Vignette. We have been evolving our purpose and values with the agency for many years. Our values were created with input from the founders’ collective experiences and drafted in a collaborative effort with our team. And when we rolled them out agency-wide they were open to discussion, input, and adjustment so they would accurately reflect who we are as a team and company.

I am happy to share them with you below. Each value has a short sentence to give context to some of the more abstract values.

Vignette’s Values

  • Be obsessed or be ordinary
    When we put ourselves into our work, we deliver beyond what we think is possible.
  • Vignette is a business
    Creativity lives side by side with growth & profit. Know our business, know our client’s business.
  • Master your craft
    Know what you don’t know and be proactive to develop the skills that help you grow.
  • Collaboration is the key to our success
    There is real power from the combination of all our talents and experiences. Leveraging this dynamic will take us to the next level.
  • Delight in the details
    We deliver work that transforms and excites our clients. Details go beyond pixels and decimal points, they extend to how we work with our clients and each other.
  • Equal parts substance and style
    Substance speaks to your head, style speaks to your heart. Our value is unparalleled when we do both.
  • Embrace change, be flexible, evolve
    The world is always changing. This applies to us and our clients. Our goal is to keep moving in the right direction.
  • Show respect, earn respect
    We show respect to all. We conduct ourselves to earn the respect of our peers, partners, and clients.
  • Reflect and recharge
    Celebrate each other, our work, our progress, and our clients. We are a creative organization that is powered by inspiration. Take time to recharge.

I encourage everyone to do the hard work of exploring personal and organizational values. The World Values Day website has some great resources to help get you started.

If you need additional help crafting or communicating your values to your employees we are here to help. Just reach out. Or if you just want to talk about how we came about our agency values at Vignette, please get in touch. Either way, we’d love to start a conversation.

Mike Lepis

As a Chief Strategy Officer, Mike leads our team to develop strategy, insights and creative solutions to drive employee engagement. He believes through human-centered design and strategic communications—employees will get behind a brand and its mission.