Building a Company Around Core Values

At Q Consulting, our core values are at the forefront of everything we do. They are the guiding principles that help to distinguish who we are, how we hire, and shape our culture.

When it comes to building a company, strategic planning and digging deep about what matters the most is an important step to take in the early stages of the process. Q Consulting Owners Jim Erickson and Matt Haiker did just that before the inception of Q Consulting in 2015 and discovered that their own personal core values aligned, making it a no-brainer what the company’s values would be:

Jim and Matt shared their experience of crafting Q Consulting’s core values in our conversation below:

How did you decide to make excellence, integrity, respect, and collaboration your company’s core values?

Matt: Creating our core values was a bit of a two-phased project. Jim and I started off by sitting down and discussing what is most important to the both of us and how we wanted to run our business. It was clear after our initial discussion that we were on the same page about the values that we hold ourselves to and how these would be the guiding principles of Q Consulting.

After deciding that Excellence, Respect, Integrity, and Collaboration would be our core values, we knew that we needed to come up with a way to hold our employees to the same standard in order for our business to be successful. That was when we turned to the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), which is a set of practical tools and concepts that has helped our leadership team tremendously with upholding these values over the course of our time in business.

Jim: Collaboration is such an amazing and powerful tool. Ironically, it was that tool that brought our Core Values to life. After Matt and I sat down and determined what was most important to us, we held a meeting with all of our employees and had them write down their values on a post-it note. We then aligned similar sounding values together to see where there was a concentration. When the dust settled, the group as a whole had unknowingly come up with the same values as Matt and me. The entire team created the values for Q and the entire team holds everybody accountable to those values. That’s Collaboration. That’s powerful.

How do you evaluate or measure if someone was upholding these values or not?

Matt: Every quarter, we work with each one of our employees individually to create unique goals. Then, throughout the course of the quarter, we hold weekly one-on-one meetings with each of our employees to check in with them, see how they are doing with their work, if they need any help or guidance, etc.

This is also a great time for us to take notes about whether or not they are upholding our company values. Then, at the end of each quarter, we perform a quarterly review where we sit down with each employee and discuss their performance over the course of the last three months. This is a great time for us to congratulate them on their hard work, help them if there are some areas where they would improve, or have a hard conversation if it needs to happen.

Jim: In our quarterly management meeting, the leadership team lays out the strategy for the upcoming quarter and the individual and team goals for the next quarter. As a part of that meeting, we do an assessment of each employee, which is entirely about their adherence to our core values. We rate them on each value as a plus, a minus, or a plus-minus. Anything less than a plus creates an action item to discuss with the individual employee. We have found that our employees are actually looking forward to those results! Real professionals are always looking for constructive feedback.

What are some examples of behaviors that would exemplify each value within your organization?

Matt: While you can teach someone how to do something, you can’t teach them to want to do it. This is something that people have to figure out for themselves, and is often something that is either instilled within us or it isn’t. Our values are another reason why we take our hiring process very seriously, as Excellence, Respect, Integrity, and Collaboration are a few of those values that people either have or they don’t. This is something we keep note of right from the beginning in order to ensure that our team as a collective has the same views and motivations, not only leading to a successful business, but also a company culture that can’t be beat.

Jim: I really love our value of Excellence. It supersedes all we do. We can’t achieve, grow, or succeed without it. Q’s definition of Excellence is being Driven and Accountable. This means doing your best at all times, even if you have already been successful. It means getting the most out of your talents, to leave no meat on the bone. While achieving that level is very difficult, it’s not the most important aspect here. It’s the effort to be Excellent that matters. Watching or helping someone be their very best is amazingly beautiful and rewarding.

If you’re a business leader and are looking to hire top talent who align with your company’s core values, or would like to find an IT job with a company that matches yours, give us a call at Q Consulting in Minneapolis today. We help place top talent in jobs that match their experience with local, top-rated companies in the Twin Cities metro area. Whether you are looking for (or to fill) a job now or will be in the future, don’t hesitate to reach outthe Q crew is here whenever you need us.