Celebrating EO Day 2024: Redefining Our Company’s Core Values and Behaviors

– Written by Head of Quality, Vicky Galloni

As we gear up to celebrate Employee Ownership (EO) Day 2024, I had the privilege of leading a team dedicated to redefining our company’s core values and behaviours. This project not only underscored the essence of employee ownership but also showcased the potential and commitment of our team members.

A Journey Begins at Cardiff Castle

Our journey began at the historic Cardiff Castle, a setting as grand and inspiring as the task ahead of us. The project team, comprised of ten staff members from diverse departments across the business, gathered for a kick-off meeting that set the tone for the collaborative and inclusive work to come. We started by delving into why values and behaviours are crucial for a successful company and a positive culture, laying the foundation for our mission.

Collaborative Spirit and Digital Innovation

With our initial understanding in place, we moved forward by leveraging digital tools to foster collaboration. We established a dedicated working page on Microsoft Teams, enabling us to share ideas, documents, and feedback seamlessly. This digital workspace became the hub of our project, allowing continuous interaction and progress.

To ensure that every voice within our company was heard, we developed a comprehensive company-wide survey. This survey was designed to gather thoughts and suggestions from all employees, reinforcing the belief that every opinion matters in an employee-owned business. The enthusiastic participation from staff was both humbling and encouraging, reflecting the  commitment our employees have to our shared values and having a voice listened to and actioned upon.

Face-to-Face Engagement and Workshops

While digital collaboration was vital, we recognised the importance of personal interaction. Each project team member hosted face-to-face workshops with staff across the business. These sessions provided a platform for open discussion about our current values, their relevance, and potential changes. The positive engagement received during these workshops was inspiring, emphasising our shared commitment to a values-driven culture.

Taking Ownership and Balancing Responsibilities

What made this project even more impressive was the dedication of the project team members who volunteered to be part of this initiative. They came from various departments, including Delivery Staff, Customer Service, Finance, Management Information (MI), Human Resources (HR), and Business Development. These individuals took on the additional responsibilities of this project alongside their day-to-day tasks, demonstrating the true spirit of ownership and commitment. Balancing their regular duties with project tasks required  time management and dedication, highlighting the strength and versatility of our team.

Personal and Professional Growth

This project was not just about redefining our values; it was also an opportunity for personal and professional growth for all involved. Project team members had the chance to participate in strategic objectives, work in different areas of the business, and gain new skills such as facilitation, data analysis, and presenting to senior management. This experience highlighted the unique advantages of working for a 100% employee-owned business, where employees have a real say in shaping the company’s culture and direction.

Here’s what the project team members have to say about their experiences:

Being on the EO Narrative project team has been an incredibly enriching experience. I’ve learnt a lot more about values and what they mean, and I’ve recognised my own values as a person. I feel so proud to be part of such a unique experience in developing the future of our company. Collaborating with our team has been a highlight—hearing their opinions and making their voices heard has been truly rewarding. – Sian Wain, Lead Tutor

Being on the Employee Owned (EO) Narrative project team, I’ve learned so much about our company’s values and discovered a lot about my own. It’s been an amazing experience to help shape our company’s future. The best part has been working with such a great team and hearing everyone’s ideas.- Lee Grindlay, Business Account Manager

Having the opportunity to contribute and shape the future of Itec as a group really reflects the culture and inclusive nature of everyone! I’ve learnt that a lot of our values as individuals within the group align with each other and that we all feel empowered as EO members to do the best for Itec and its owners!- Dewi Richards-Darch, Curriculum Manager

Being part of the Employee Owned Narrative project has been a blast! Collaborating with such an amazing team to explore values, behaviours, and our vision statement has been truly rewarding. Working and running focus groups with JGW+ to gather crucial info has helped sculpt our ideas beautifully.- Hannah Kane-Roberts, Lead Tutor

The Essence of Employee Ownership

As we reflect on our journey, it becomes clear that our values and behaviours are not just words on a page—they are the lifeblood of our organisation. They underpin everything we do, guiding our actions and decisions. The success of this project reaffirms why employee ownership is so powerful. It empowers every individual within the company to contribute meaningfully, ensuring that our collective vision is realised.

Looking Ahead

As we celebrate EO Day 2024, let us shout louder than ever before about the incredible power of employee ownership. This project has been a testament to what we can achieve when we come together as a community, proud of our shared ownership and committed to our collective success.

Here’s to a future where our values and behaviours continue to reflect the best of who we are, and to a company that thrives because of its people. #ProudlyEO