The value of values

Creating a brand is so much more than a nice looking logo. Don’t get me wrong, a nice looking logo is very important (don’t be mad designers!), but values are the very foundation of a brand and are vital in building a company with a strong identity, a great culture and most importantly, a purpose. 

In my career I have been lucky enough to work for value-led companies who lived them to the core every single day. To be in an environment with a clear purpose and authentic values which aligned with my own goals made me feel heard and confident in what I was doing. I felt totally invested in these companies, and what we were trying to achieve as a team.

A lot of people roll their eyes when you start talking about values. I guess in the past there has been a tendency for companies to create a list of values which make them look great on paper, but in reality the company doesn’t actually reflect what they have stated. Well, when Ryan and I first started running Oyster we were determined to make sure the company had a clear purpose and genuine values. 

To be in an environment with a clear purpose and authentic values which aligned with my own goals made me feel heard and confident in what I was doing.

One of the first things we did was to create a Culture Book which included setting our values. We wanted them to reflect the company we wanted Oyster to be and for our team to feel they genuinely reflect what it is like to work at Oyster. A lot of the values were firming up what was already in place, some had been previously suggested by the team, and others came directly from us. We put them together and they created the backbone of Oyster, helping us to create a strong base to build from as we navigated our first year. 


So what are our values? 

  • ​​We are creative. We encourage each other to spark creativity. We are never afraid to share our ideas. We never hold back.
  • We are reliable. We are a service that always delivers. We are honest, open and transparent. We tackle problems head on. We achieve our goals.
  • We are people focussed. We listen to each other. We have a great work/ life balance. We enjoy each other’s company. We have good chat! We embrace each other’s quirks.
  • We are part of your team. We build great relationships. We offer more than just a service. We are personable, friendly and always have time for our clients. We encourage a collective output.

And how do we live them?

It takes a lot of work to make sure you are living your values. There is nothing worse than a list of values which sit inside a handbook and are rarely referenced. They should be at the centre of everything you do, and every decision should beg the question – is this in line with our values? 

Proactively making sure you have initiatives in place which reflect your values is a great place to start. From regular team days with breakfast, to dedicated work/ life balance policies, to wellness week and regular social events, here at Oyster we have quite a few of these!

It’s also important to make sure your team align with your values and what you want to achieve. I always interview with this in mind and without hesitation I would choose to employ someone who has the right attitude and team fit over someone with the most ability and experience.  

I saw a quote recently from my favourite Dragon: 

Let your values drive you, not passing trends.

Steven Bartlett

Our values are centred around creating a workplace which is supportive, rewarding and fun. They are designed to ensure we help each other, lift each other up and can be ourselves at work without compromise. That’s what drives me. 

I can genuinely say that our values are at the heart of everything we do, and we are so proud that we live them every day.