Shared values help us stay on the same page about what’s important. They keep us thinking as one, and help us to be good partners to one another, our peers, and our customers.
We have four values for Zendesk Design: Push for greatness, Be accountable, Care for one another, and Keep it creative. Here’s a summary of what those mean and how we put them into practice.
We always strive to make something great. Our standards are high, and we expect top quality work from our peers and ourselves. This means people on our team obsess over the details – especially when it comes to things like pride in our craft, creative problem solving, and a refusal to compromise on things that would make a worthwhile difference for our customers.
Creativity can feel wild and unruly, but it doesn’t come from chaos. We need to create a stable environment for ourselves so we feel anchored. That way we can get close to the edge without fear of going over.
To do this we invest in our processes, and we rely on them to keep us organized and ready to take on tough decisions. This allows us to be dependable, consistent, and self-sufficient. And that allows everyone else to depend on us.
In the distant future creative work might get outsourced to robots with cool haircuts, but for now it’s being done by us humans. As humans we have feelings, families, and lives outside of work. We have to respect and support this part of ourselves. If we don’t, we will become unhappy and burned out. Remember what the scary movie said: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
To avoid this we have to put health and well-being at the foundation of our values pyramid. We need time for ourselves, and everything else that we do to maintain balance and happiness in our lives. A big part of this is understanding that work has a beginning and an end—and we respect that. Additionally, when we are working, we respect each other. We are considerate, supportive, and kind.
Being creative requires passion. For a lot of us, our jobs are more than jobs. Design, research, writing—it all really matters to us, even in our spare time. We’re in a lucky predicament that we get to work doing a thing that we really enjoy. But that’s not always going to be a given. We need to be intentional about making space for creativity.
So whatever that is for you—going to see a play, getting your hands dirty, or just staring out the window—do it. Just remember to embrace your weird side. We love that part of you and want to see it flourish.