Oxford University Press (OUP), a distinguished academic publishing organisation with a global workforce of 8,000 employees, embarked on a transformative journey to revitalise its company values, mission, and vision statements. Their goal was to engage with their diverse workforce, gain insights into their current work dynamics, identify core values, and cultivate an environment that fosters engagement and authenticity. To achieve this, OUP partnered with In Diverse Company to facilitate this complex process.
This comprehensive 18-month project spanned the globe, involving every OUP staff member, and included several key phases:
1) Appreciative Inquiry Workshops: Over the initial six months, 60 global appreciative inquiry workshops were conducted. These sessions aimed to understand current work practices, what employees valued most about their OUP experience, and when they felt most engaged and authentic. Qualitative data from these workshops provided insights into common phrases, forming the basis for initial value statements.
2) One-Day Workshop with Senior Executives: In a pivotal step, In Diverse Company’s CEO facilitated a one-day workshop with the Executive Committee. This session delved into translating the values into detailed statements and behavioural descriptions, ensuring that the values transcended mere words and became actionable behaviours. It also emphasised the link between values, OUP’s mission, and business outcomes, marking a significant shift towards connecting behaviour and business performance.
3) Global Rollout: The values, behaviours, and mission were disseminated globally through workshops led by local managers. This approach not only ensured a sense of ownership among managers but also encouraged them to drive the adoption of the new values within their teams. The integration of these values into performance management processes, 360-degree leadership assessments, and senior leader bonus structures reinforced their significance.
4) Ongoing Evaluation: The project’s impact was continually evaluated at 6, 12, and 18 months through pulse engagement surveys. These assessments gauged the extent to which employees, managers, and leaders were adhering to the newly established values and behaviours.
The OUP Values Project culminated in several noteworthy outcomes:
1) A revitalised set of value, mission, and vision statements, informed by the invaluable feedback of the global workforce.
2) Empowered local managers who played a pivotal role in championing the adoption of new values among their teams.
3) A significant transformation in the organisation’s culture and enhanced engagement levels in the months following the project.
This case study underscores IDC’s commitment to partnering with organisations like OUP to create meaningful and impactful changes that resonate throughout the entire workforce, fostering a culture of authenticity, engagement, and shared values.
Johanna launched In Diverse Company in 2019 out of a strong belief that there was a better way to create and measure inclusive cultures.
We live by our values, and our approach to our own recruitment policy, team and purpose reflects this. We are a tech company driven by a senior team that are experts in people, with one of the only female CEOs of a HR tech platform across the world.
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