Since opening its doors in 2001, Riversand has retained an exciting startup culture and is a lean organization — all the hallmarks of an energetic, high-achieving enterprise in today’s business world.
What does it mean to be a start-up culture? A lean organization? How do these terms look in our day-to-day interactions and activities?
Riversand’s executive team was asked these questions recently. The result is a clear articulation of what makes Riversand the exciting place it is. In the first article of three, I present to you the first of our three Value Pillars: Collaboration and Respect.
One may think, “Well sure, everyone knows that collaboration and respect are important to a company.” While, yes, these two words alone don’t really convey much, our executive team didn’t just pick them from a list of terms that every company should talk about. They came to these terms as the outcome of considering what behaviors and characteristics are essential to Riversand’s culture, and what values embody those behaviors and cultures.
In common with all our value pillars, collaboration and respect are expressed on both the individual and companywide levels.
At the individual level, each Riversand Team member thinks this way and demonstrates it every day:
- I understand that power comes from sharing what I know rather than hoarding knowledge and information for use as bargaining chips or influence gain. I openly share information with my team members for training and advancement purposes.
- No one person is greater than anyone else. Each person contributes to the team’s accomplishments and ensures that every person on the team makes it over the finish line. I see success as a team effort, not only my effort.
- Not only do I perform in my own role, but I support my team members and others in the company in any way I can. Whether it’s being a helping hand on a task, offering requested feedback, or just listening, I do what is right for my company and my team, not only what is good for me as an individual.
- I bring my own personal and professional experiences to the table, and so do each of my team members. I understand that others may view something very differently than I do, and I express my respect in my interactions with them. I respect every individual who are either one amongst us or do business with us, independent of their status or what disagreement they may have with me.
I have no need to “protect” who I am from the people with whom I work. I communicate openly, honestly, respectfully, and I know how to behave appropriately. I am authentic, transparent and accountable.
At the company level, Riversand is not about individual brilliance, it’s about driving success through mutual respect and collaboration.
- With every employee in every role, every office, and every Riversand location expressing this value on an individual level, the result is a company that expresses it on an organizational level:
- We work as a team. There is no one in the company who is not a part of the Riversand team.
- We respect one another as we work toward our goals. As a team, we support and contribute to one another, and respect is a natural part of our interactions.
- We listen to and value each other’s opinions and ideas. We truly engage in the conversation, test our understanding of what’s being said, and ask the appropriate questions that will improve clarity. We also respond with the intention of being clear, concise and articulate.
- We work through disagreements respectfully. Riversand thrives because of the diversity among the company. This diversity means that there will always be differences in points of view, opinions, and means of expression. Respecting those differences, understanding how they show up in the workplace, and communicating openly for resolution when needed, are a few of the critical aspects of our success.
As a human resources executive, I demonstrate these mindsets and behaviors every day. Furthermore, I help support Riversand’s value pillars at the individual, team and organization levels, and encourage two-way interaction with all team members to embed our values into the way we work daily.