In HR as in Architecture – Build upon a Strong Foundation

The backbone of any successful organization is, of course, its people. Finding, hiring and maintaining a workforce made up of talented professionals is the key to a growing and dynamic company. Building an organization from the ground up requires a strong foundation using the right tools for the job. With architecture, comprehensive designs, plans and blueprints are needed to guide construction; in human resources, to deliver proactive policies and benefits – what’s needed is an HR Shared Services solution to complement a firm’s clearly defined values and vision…

“Building a team, like building a house, requires starting from the ground up. Our values, like a foundation, affect our team the same way all the time. When you lay a foundation, the homebuilder is committed to a certain floor plan once the foundation is set. This floor plan dictates how the house will flow. The team builder is committed to foundational values–how the team will flow and interact,” says Lee Colan, from ‘How to Build a Strong Foundation for Your Team.’

A company’s values must be more than just words to its employees. They must be something to be believed in – that are in practice every day – helping to foster motivation and trust in the workings of the company. Core value statements that inspire “become the deeply ingrained principle and fabric that guide employee behavior and company decisions and actions—the behaviors the company and employees expect of themselves,” says Eric Jacobson, a former executive who writes about management and leadership in Kansas City, MO, “Without a statement, the company will lack soul.” (From

One of the ongoing benefits of HR Shared Services is the positive reinforcement of a company’s values by delivering consistent content and communication geared directly to the people that make up an organization. Tim Cadogan, CEO of OpenX, explains about ‘Creating a Culture through Explicit Values’ in ’10 Lessons In Defining Your Company Values,’

“Values are one of those things that can sound soft and squishy, especially in the context of a company. The reality – I have found – is actually quite the opposite. They form the most solid bedrock of any group or organization and really matter to the individuals.” He goes on to explain that as a company grows, values need to be explained, socialized and constantly reinforced.

Or, as Sharon John, CEO of Build-A-Bear says of their organizations six core values of Reach, Learn, Di-bear-sity Colla-bear-ate Give, Cele-bear-ate;

“These are life values as well as company values,” she says, “They are unifying for our organization.”