“Our values and behaviors have been absolutely critical to how we engage our people and how we engage our clients in the best way,” says Camilla Britton, Alignment leader for People, Partnership & Culture at PwC Australia.
About five years ago, PwC Australia embarked on a journey to identify their firm’s values. Britton says it was PwC Australia CEO, Luke Sayers, who had the foresight to realize the connection between putting culture first and delivering value to the firm’s clients. “If we have our people at the front and center, feeling inspired, it can only benefit the relationships that we have with our clients,” she explains.
Discovering your company’s values
To kick off the values discovery process, Sayers and his leadership team toured the country and hosted feedback workshops with people at all different levels across the firm. PwC also gathered client feedback to understand their perceived value from an external perspective. “It was a big process around the country that we went through to ensure that the voice of our people was heard, and we understood what was important and what resonated with them,” says Britton.
In the last 12 months, PwC’s Global Chairman took the process a step further by kicking off a global set of values and behaviours with the belief that values need to underpin everything, throughout the whole ecosystem.
PwC’s global values are:
- Act with integrity
- Make a difference
- Reimagine the possible
- Working together
People from PwC’s consulting business and internal team who were involved in the initial values discovery process continue to work on embedding the global values throughout the business. “Whether it’s through development, performance management, centers of excellence - you name it - they're still working on helping our network embed values in our people processes which the Australian firm had led the way on. It’s something we are really proud of,” shares Britton.
PwC hasn’t stopped gathering feedback on how people feel about the company’s values, and what keeps them engaged at work. “We’re excited to use Culture Amp surveys, because they give us real-time, transparent feedback. Working through and actioning on that feedback is critical to ensure that we deliver on shaping our culture in the right way aligned to our values and behaviors,” says Britton.
A brand is a promise, culture is how you deliver on it
Putting culture first is about the intentional curation of a culture you believe will drive your organization’s long-term success. At PwC, Britton says that’s exactly what they’re doing. “We have our purpose as to why we do what we do - we’re building trust in society and solving important problems - and we have our strategy,” she explains. “The ‘how’ we deliver on that is absolutely around our values and our behaviors. The evolution of that over the last five years as an Australian firm has come to the forefront.”
PwC’s CEO, Executive board, and leadership, recognize that their people are a differentiating factor in the market. “We want to get our people humming, feeling passionate and purposeful. We want to ignite the human spirit. We strive for a culture that lives our values through behaviors every day. In the decisions that we make, how we have conversations, how we serve our clients. In every little thing that we do there needs to be consistency around that in the ecosystem. Our culture and our people are what truly differentiate us in the market with our clients, and helps us serves our clients best,” says Britton.