For many companies, Core Values are just for the website and the annual meeting, but at EMC they are a living, breathing part of what we do, and we try to keep them front of mind all year long.
We hire and review to them. We have a focus value each quarter and ask the team to look for moments when their colleagues have exemplified that value and to share those moments with the team in weekly staff meetings.
Our core value for Q3 was “We Lift Each Other Up,” and I think it’s my favorite.
It’s also very timely. As part of our fall agency conference and as part of our ongoing efforts to develop our internal DEI initiatives, we invited the wonderful Ladipo Group to lead us in a session on emotional intelligence and effective communication.
What does it mean for our agency to Lift Each Other Up?
At the heart of what we do, our agency provides a service. The purpose of that service is to help our clients drive business growth by providing strategic Out of Home media. We work to make their business do better, we work to make the people we work with better at their jobs. We work with our media supplier partners to be able to provide the best options they can.
We work as an extension of our client’s team. Our goal is to elevate the confidence and expertise level our client teams have when launching an OOH campaign – to have no doubts the plans we are creating and launching will be successful in meeting campaign KPIs, not to be afraid to try something new…to be daring and innovative.
It also means that we focus on working with clients who want a partner relationship. In order to achieve success, we all have to be working together toward a common goal. Doing good for our clients is good for us. As our CEO, Betsy Mclarney likes to say: “all ships rise”. When our clients do better, we do better. When we focus on lifting them up, we also lift ourselves.
This value is also why we have made a commitment to DEI – we not only lift up our clients by driving business and our employees by creating a positive work environment, but we lift up our community by being a good example and helping to improve the lives of those around us.
What does it mean for our team to Lift Each Other Up?
When we were developing our Core Values, the words that our team used that led to this one were things like “won’t let my team down,” “always lend a hand,” and “strive to be a good teammate”. The importance of being there as a resource for our teammates is central to everyone at our agency – I honestly don’t think someone would stay very long if they didn’t fit in with that – they would probably be uncomfortable.
No matter what you do or what industry you work in, everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes. Work is coming at you too fast, you’re faced with a problem and don’t have an answer, etc. How much does it mean to someone to know that your whole team has your back? That anyone you work with would be willing to stop and help? That’s huge. Everyone on our team approaches their work and interactions with “how can I help?”, “what do you need from me?”.
It’s also important to remember that lifting each other up isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, it’s conflict and challenges, but there are always opportunities on the other side of those challenges if we face them together—opportunities to overcome and grow stronger together, all working towards common goals.
What does it mean to me personally when we say Lift Each Other Up?
For me, this may be my favorite of our core values because it is so personal. Being able to lift someone up or have them lift you creates a bond. It creates something that goes beyond just a “coworker.”
We’ve all heard people say we spend more time with our work families than we do with our actual families. With so much going on in the world today, it’s impossible to always understand fully what your colleagues may be going through. You never know how you can change somebody’s day by lifting them up. Even something that may seem small to us, can be very meaningful to someone else.
It also makes the whole experience of going to work just more pleasant. I can’t imagine working in a cutthroat, me first, climb over the other person to get what you want kind of environment. As the president of the agency, I look at our group as a family, and maintaining the emotional and psychological health of that family is very important to me.
On a business level – it’s just good for the company – employees who are happy, engaged, and collaborative are more productive and do better work. But more importantly – it’s just the right thing to do. Employees who feel like their teammates are there to lift them up are just going to be happier. It’s less stress in their lives, and that is something we all need.