Corporate Values Made Real! A discussion with Rho

From the minute I walked into Rho’s lobby, I could feel the positive atmosphere.

It does seem that all companies and organizations have publicly available lofty vision and values statements. These value statements are very often very inspirational and would make you want to work at or do business with these companies. But really? How many companies truly live out their values and have the corporate culture they espouse?

Recently I was at a seminar hosted at Rho, a clinical drug development and contract research services firm headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC. There was such a positive vibe about the building, from the welcoming receptionist at the front desk to the Rho employees signing us in to the Rho employees participating in the workshop. In a time when employee turnover is so high and an ever increasing number of people seem to dislike their work, this positivity was great to witness. So I decided to spend some time with Brook White, Executive Director of Communications at Rho. I really wanted to explore their documented corporate values of “living what they believe,” including integrity, quality, great people, teamwork, and more (link to the full list:

Brook White, Rho’s Executive Director of Communications was more than happy to share about Rho’s culture and values.

STAN: I really enjoyed my visit here last month and the positive vibe that seems to prevail around your campus. What do you attribute that to?

BROOK: We know that our smart, talented people are our greatest asset, so we strive to create an environment where all of our employees can thrive. We encourage employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance—we discourage checking email after hours, encourage employees to use their vacation time, and provide benefits like a concierge service to help employees maintain that balance. We’re also doing work that matters. Our research improves health, extends life, and enhances quality of life.

STAN: In a culture where I see more dissonance between what people say and what they do, how do you succeed in “living what you believe?”

BROOK: It starts with a company’s leaders. Our Leadership Team demonstrates these values in their work and in their interactions with employees. We also make sure that from the beginning, each employee understands the importance of these values to our organization. Our co-CEOs, Dr. Laura Helms Reece and Dr. Russ Helms, have a series of three lunches with new employees to review the values, why they are important, and what that looks like in our day-to-day work.

Rho co-CEOs, Dr. Laura Helms Reece and Dr. Russ Helms, personally meet with new employees to review Rho’s values.

STAN: I’d like to explore team work a little more since often times people sabotage others or refuse to assist their coworkers in a competitive environment where people want to get the best performance rating or get ahead. How do you truly incent team work at Rho? Do you really reward those who demonstrate strong team work?

BROOK: Teamwork is something that is highly valued at Rho. Leaders set the tone by making sure their teams receive credit for accomplishments rather than taking credit for themselves. We also have a peer-to-peer award program where any employee can recognize the good work of any other person in the company. The recipient receives both a gift card and recognition on our company intranet site. We also don’t have annual performance reviews. Performance feedback is given in the moment year round, so that the focus is on helping employees grow.

STAN: How do you handle people who seem to promote their own agendas or careers and aren’t good team players?

BROOK: We reward those who demonstrate teamwork, integrity, and our other core values, and we don’t permit or reward behavior that is out of alignment with those values even if it produces results. Results are important, but it can’t be results at any cost.

STAN: Finally, do have any metrics and measurements that show that good team work and living your other values truly leads to profitability? Can you show that correlation?

BROOK: We’ve been in business for more than 30 years, and we’ve been profitable every year. Even in years when living our values has meant making difficult decisions, we’ve managed to make a profit. While we don’t keep those specific metrics, our profitability year after year does show that a business can be successful and do the right thing. It’s not one or the other.

STAN: Thank you Brook. In closing, is there anything else you would like to share about Rho?

BROOK: On a personal note, this month marks my tenth anniversary at Rho. It has been a privilege to work alongside such a wonderful group of people and to work for an organization that actively demonstrates the values it espouses.

STAN: Thank you, Brook for spending this time with me and I wish you and Rho the very best in the future.

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Photos courtesy of Rho’s Corporate Communications

Revolutionize Your Business with this Book: “Pixels Are the New Ink” by Jeff Tippett

Jeff Tippett, the engaging author of “Pixels are the New Ink.”

I am one of three certified LGBT-BE (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Business Enterprises) certified by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce who is involved with the NGLCC’s affiliate chamber here in Raleigh, NC, the RBPN – Raleigh’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Another one of the three is Jeff Tippett of Targeted Persuasion, a top public affairs and communications firm in North Carolina. Jeff was the speaker at RBPN’s June meeting and highlighted his latest book which is how digital media is now today’s most critical vehicle for building a strong brand and awareness.

The subtitle of this short but important book for your business or organization is “Three steps to digital domination in your industry.” So what are the three steps? In a concise hard hitting manner filled with stimulating real-life examples, Jeff shares:

To get all the details of the three points below, order this book using the link at the end of this blog.

1) Produce and Distribute Content. It is important to have something worth sharing with others that they need and want. You should have expertise and then be able to get in out of your head and out there into the world. And it has to be expertise that people want and addresses some sort of issue or problem. Your content cannot be boring, but should be targeted to your niche audience with passion and authenticity. And then in the book, Jeff lots of various online and social media mediums to distribute content, the environments they would be most effective for, and various hints and tips to increase effectiveness.

2) Build Your Audience. It is one thing to produce and distribute excellent content, but you need to build an audience to partake in what you have to offer. Jeff offers several tactics and mediums to effectively target and build the audience you want.

3) Engage. Producing and sharing content is not just a one-way street. Jeff shares the importance of being interactive and engaging with the audience you are building as well as with key influencers in your space.

It is a short and quick read, and in a short single sitting you can ingest this wisdom to kick start or greatly enhance your online and social media presence.

And now two actions you can take:

Purchase the book on Amazon (link directly to the book)

Subscribe via Jeff’s website to receive information on future webinars expanding on the book’s content.