Beer Mat Values

4th November 2016

By John McKee LinkedIn

You’re sitting all by your lonesome in the local pub having a quiet tipple.

Two people are sitting at the bar chatting in hushed tones and unaware that you can overhear their conversation.

One is a colleague; you’ve worked together for years, been through some good times and some challenges and as a result you have a healthy working relationship. You view them as a “solid performer” and know they think the same of you.

The other person you don’t know, but they're clearly a personal friend of your colleague’s and both are discussing an open position in your business.

Let’s imagine what sort of phrases we’d like to overhear between our spied-on conversationalists:

The stranger:

“I’m looking for something to challenge me, the place I’m in just doesn’t excite me at all, my manager is totally invisible, I want to build a career, I’ve heard good things about your place, I’m seriously thinking of applying for that job!”.

Your colleague:

This is a super company; it’s hard work and challenging, but enjoyable, there’s good opportunity to progress if you want to and you’re capable, there’s good variety and the person you’d be reporting to is sound, they’ll push you, but they’ll support your learning and development every step of the way.”

OK, the above is perhaps a tad utopian but seriously, think about what you’d overhear in the real world. I reckon the points covered in this imagined (or real) conversation, both good and bad, are a better gauge of your company values than anything written in the corporate plan or printed out and stuck to the wall in reception.

So, scrub page 3 of the business plan, what are your company’s beer-mat-values?

And if you’re not happy with them, what are you going to do to change them?

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