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Walking the Culture and Values Walk

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Plenty of businesses like to promote their charity work or how great they’re doing financially. However, we know that although some businesses look rosy on the outside, they’re pretty rotten on the inside.


In the final article in this series, our CEO Richard reveals the value that having a strong culture and business ethics has brought to We Are Adam. And how some Manchester businesses are getting it wrong.


Opportunity-Creating Values


How you do business is as important as what you do. It’s something the We Are Adam leadership team have recognised from the very start of our journey. And I’m pleased to say that we’ve stuck to our ethics through thick and thin.


Getting our finances in order before anything else has played an important part in our success. Even when we were down to the last £5k in the bank during the financial crisis, we still made sure we paid all our suppliers and our tax bill. At times this meant going without, but it has ensured we’ve built a strong credit rating.


It’s this emphasis on doing the right thing that has helped us achieve a position where we can deliver our plans for the future and buy our first property. But that doesn’t mean we’re only in it for ourselves.


Genuine Charity Supporters


With a team of brilliant people who like to help others, it’s no surprise we’re active charity supporters. In 2017, we raced a Team GB athlete from our Manchester office in aid of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

And, in 2018, four of our team were brave enough to sign up to Man vs Mountain, a marathon race covering 22 miles from sea level to 5,055ft up Snowdon.


We see this as a serious commitment, not just another element of our brand. Over the past couple of years, we’ve collected around £000s in donations. And every single penny has gone to the charities we raised the money for. Unlike certain businesses we’ve heard about: firms who make a lot of noise about their charitable work but do the worst thing possible; acting fraudulently and keeping hold of the money they raise to ease their cash flow problems.


Then there are some other businesses who shout about their philanthropy but fail to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax. Just imagine how much good could be done if they’d honoured their responsibilities and paid their taxes.


Cheating charities and the tax man is no way to run a business. Or to be a decent human being. In my view, the people responsible are those in charge. The leaders who should be setting and demonstrating their organisation’s values and leading from the front by hiring the right team to deliver against those values.


It’s All About People


As a recruiter, I know only too well that skills can be developed but behaviours are much more difficult to evolve. It’s why we recruit our teams using values-based methods to ensure we hire the right people. Employees who will fit with and demonstrate our business values.


Some business owners set behaviours for their team to live up to but fail to match the same standards themselves. At We Are Adam, we understand that trust works both ways. Which is why our leadership team have always been hands-on, mucking in to ensure we hit our goals. In fact in 2018, our founder Leon Mills and director Vanessa Jackson were our two biggest fee earners.


By getting their hands dirty and leading from the front to inspire the entire team, our directors guarantee that our values are demonstrated from the top to the bottom of the organisation.


Inspiration Only Goes so Far


Of course, we don’t just lead by example. We Are Adam provides all the support our people need. From a comprehensive total reward package that puts employees’ health and wellbeing first, to development plans that help our staff achieve career and personal goals.


It’s this combination of developing the right culture and sticking closely to our values that has helped us achieve our best year ever.


To show how much we value our team’s input, we’ve rewarded our people by celebrating success.  But we’re also putting money back into the business to ensure we can continue to provide a stable workplace for our team in recognition of everything they’ve done for the business.


By buying our first property and adding an asset to our balance sheet, we’re laying firm foundations for an even brighter future.


Reaping the Rewards


I took time out to write this series of articles to shine a light on some of the poor business practices that are going on in Manchester at the moment. And to highlight just how important business ethics are. Not just in terms of being a decent person, but as the basis for solid business decision-making and financial gain.


We Are Adam is a true success story. Albeit one that’s had its ups and downs, its challenges and triumphs. With a solid financial foundation and a strong team that lives our values, we’re here for the long-term and ready for whatever the future brings.