Six Ways That Planful Uses Company Values to Guide Strategic Growth

I started at Planful just over a year ago as SVP of People & Culture (that’s “human resources” rebranding ourselves). Our culture was going through an evolution, with new leadership, a new vision, and new energy being injected into the company. We made it clear we would take a people-first approach, and that our values were to be a tangible and visible component of our company DNA. My job was to make that happen.

I’ve been in operational and people-focused roles for over a decade and across various countries. I’ve seen the mistakes leaders make in simply treating people as a generic resource and values as a buzzword. But the workplace has changed dramatically over the past decade, and it’s really changed over the past 6 months. It’s now crystal clear that’s not how a company culture is built and solidified. Values should anchor a company’s every decision, no matter if times are good or bad.

Here are six ways Planful uses our company values to guide nearly everything we do. 

#1. Our values define us.

We started by building a set of values to define our culture and our company. They would inform our strategy, guide our decisions, and be used to set the expectations across our ecosystem, from employees and customers to partners and executives. Our values are also a constant topic of conversation because we proactively reinforce them with our teams at every chance we get. Most of all, they are real, they are a part of the Planful culture, and we continue to embed our values across the organization.

Here’s our list of company values, which you can find on our careers page: 

  • Customers: We put our customers first and strive to always do what is right for them.
  • Teams: We put our team ahead of ourselves, being humble, supportive and collaborative.
  • Ownership: We take personal ownership for getting the job done every time, while acknowledging and getting better from our mistakes.
  • Excellence: We strive for the highest levels of performance and do not compromise.
  • Progress: We have a bias for action, create momentum, and value continuous progress over perfection.

#2. We consistently reinforce our values.

These values are part of who we are and they acknowledge that we are people, first and foremost. Our People & Culture team reinforces these values with quarterly Planful Value Awards, shoutouts to exemplary people during all-hands meetings, and a constant stream of recognition over our dedicated Slack channels. 

These and other initiatives show our teams that we’re honest and authentic when we tout our values. But it also helps our employees understand why we’re making certain decisions and helps us create a work environment that feels cohesive and aligned.

#3. Employees use our values to guide their career.

Everyone has different motivations for choosing to join and stay with a company. We want to be transparent on what we expect and how we work so that potential employees can make an informed decision. 

For example, our values show that we expect ownership of roles and tasks, and strive for progress over perfection. We also value humility and collaboration. People who thrive on responsibility and have high expectations of others and themselves will do well at Planful. 

#4. We put our people first.

Our values guide us in making Planful a place where, again, people come first. One example is mental and physical health. Our CEO, Grant Halloran, is particularly vocal about us taking care of ourselves. He makes personal calls and engages with individuals over Slack. He also supports our people initiatives, including a new program that gives our employees access to licensed therapists. 

Grant, and all of our leadership team, treat our values and these initiatives as pillars that support each and every one of us. We even point to being supportive and collaborative in our “teams” value, and that extends to the whole person, not just the coworker in them. Our organizational empathy and compassion have been particularly inspiring as we’ve all been under intense personal and professional stress lately.

#5. We rely on our values in good times and bad. 

We truly believe our reliance on these values enabled us to quickly and easily transition into a total work-from-home company as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. We adapted faster than expected, and we’ve seen that making people comfortable in their roles, resilient in their wellbeing, and connected to their peers and managers absolutely helped.

We doubled-down on our values during this unprecedented time instead of just discounting them during the chaos. Looking back, it put us in a better position to react with agility and flexibility while still getting our jobs done and continuing to delight customers. 

#6. Our values apply globally.

We are a diverse (and dispersed!) team. Our executives alone hail from Australia, India, South Africa, Italy and the U.S., and we have employees in the U.S., Canada, Hyderabad, India, and the U.K. This diversity is a distinct advantage, and we consciously crafted our values to apply universally across our global workforce.

With such a widespread team, we are a collection of many different backgrounds and cultures. We’re even experiencing regional differences based on how our communities are adjusting and responding to the pandemic-related disruptions. But, using our values as the guide, and applying them globally, we’ve been able to work quickly and with a people-first mentality. And, as we start to think about returning to work, those same values will guide that adjustment, too.

Our values make us better.

Ultimately, Planful has built these values, and continues to reinforce them, because we want to take a proactive approach to building a great team and reaching our goals. Of course, there will always be the occasional hiccup and opportunities to grow and improve, but our values will serve as a guide for everyone, no matter what tomorrow brings. 

If this sounds like an attractive work environment to you, check out our current openings. We’re always looking for top talent to help us build the best Continuous Planning platform. And, if you’re curious what it’s like to work here, you now know what guides us. 

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