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Janine Milne

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In a nutshell: Lorraine Makepeace, Head of Amazing at The Chemistry Group

Lorraine Makepeace is Head of Amazing at Chemistry Group, which provides predictive assessment to solve complex people problems in large businesses. It’s a small company with 21 staff, but has put in a lot of effort getting the culture right and worked hard to describe its values and ensure that employees live by them every day.
Here, Makepeace shares her thoughts on how to create an effective company culture.
1. Make your values meaningful
When setting your company values, they need to resonate with your employees. If you can get the employees engaged in what your values mean and why, even better, but at least have staff members in mind when you are setting your values. Think about how you would want to be described and use that as your starting point.
2. Set expectations
When you know what your values are, don’t leave it there. You need to describe what they mean. At Chemistry, our values are Passionate, Brave and Human, but we’ve gone further than that and described what each value means and then how we expect people to behave within those values. This sets expectations right at the start.
3. Measure the outcomes
Once you know how you expect your employees to behave, measure it. Bring it into their reviews, make sure that their managers are talking to them about it. Values shouldn’t just be a bunch of words on a wall (or worse still in the induction pack at the bottom of your drawer).
4. Hire against your values
You know what you want, you know how people living your values will behave, so look for those qualities when you hire new people into your business. At Chemistry we describe what great looks like for each role we hire and this includes our company values. We then make sure we measure these through our recruitment process.
5. Reward people who live your values
If you had everyone in your business really living your values, how great would that feel? So help them to do it. Motivate them. Think about your compensation plans and link them to your values. At Chemistry we reward people who live our values every day. Our employees are encouraged to recognise each other for living the values by awarding each other with a values card. We then reward the person with the most cards every quarter by way of a bonus.