Why we don't believe in culture adds

Nora Huovila
CEO & Co-founder, Videoly
At Videoly, when we talk about a culture fit, we mean that a person shares our values. For us, culture fit equals value fit. This goes deeper than simply agreeing that these values are nice words one can stand behind. Underpinning every value is a belief.

Company values stem from the beliefs about what should be pursued and prioritized in order to be a successful company.

The equation of success

Firstly it’s good to define what a successful company is. What are we aiming for? For us, being a successful company means first and foremost that we’re able to make life better for our employees. Success is correlated to the quality of our team members’ everyday lives. A standard Tuesday should be a fulfilling and enjoyable day. Life is unpredictable. Instead of pursuing happiness as a goal you can attain after reaching an achievement, you should be happy and live a life that feels meaningful to you now. A successful life is about the journey and the quality of that journey. It’s not about the destination.

In order to keep living our dream we also want and need to be successful in our business. We do that by consistently delivering value to our customers and exceeding their expectations. Business success ensures the continuity of our journey, and we believe it stems from the holistic success of our employees. We also acknowledge that having money as the sole goal does not ensure a fulfilling life. Other things do.

By honoring the human, things begin to flow

Adding value to our employees’ lives begins with honoring the human in every individual. People are not machines. This is why we believe in energy management instead of time management. Life entails various experiences, and good and bad days. In order to be energy efficient it’s much wiser to accept this than fight against it.

Maya Angelou said, “people will forget what you said and what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Honoring the human means acknowledging that we’re emotional beings. This is why the most important goal for us in every interaction is to leave a positive emotional impact. Fostering positive emotions not only makes our lives more enjoyable but also, we believe, inclines customers and future employees to gravitate towards you.

The unbreakable link between truth and improvement

Focusing on positive emotions doesn’t mean we’re wearing rose-tinted glasses. We’re attentive to what’s already working in order to ensure we can be honest about the things that aren’t.  Without honesty there can be no development. The safer people feel psychologically, the more honest the discussions can be. The faster we know about all the things not working, the faster we can start fixing them.

We also believe in freedom and responsibility. Deep in human nature there is a need to contribute to a cause. People actually want to work. When you have the right people in the right roles, work can give great satisfaction. Employees need care and support, not micromanagement.

Why there can be no compromise on culture fit

These beliefs behind our values – stay human, uplifted experience, be honest, and own it and grow it – are how we navigate our everyday decisions. This is why we need everyone to share these beliefs. Having a team member with conflicting values could become problematic. We would be optimizing for a different end result. There are always vivid discussions about what action would be more aligned with our values. Would taking one path be more uplifting for the stakeholders in question than another? But we all agree on the end goal: having an uplifted experience is crucial.

For us culture is all about shared values. We have 50/50 men and women in our team, the youngest being 23 and the oldest 63. We speak eight native languages and represent eleven nationalities but we’re all on the same page about the kind of company we want to build. That is our culture fit. And it’s something we never compromise on.