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The Power of Values: How OneStone's People-First Approach Ignites a Culture of Excellence

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

In the heart of OneStone beats a rhythm of leadership, respect, and a profound commitment to its people. Every corner of our company radiates with a culture that is a testament to the values we holds dear. Our values of relationships, transparency, ownership, teamwork, and excellence are not just written on the walls of our office, but put into action every day. This is more than just a paragraph on our website; it's a celebration of values in action.


OneStone's CEO, Bill Waitsman, recently emphasized to our team that "people and culture matter. It's not just tech and data and numbers, it's people who really care about their work and our clients know they can count on them every day to deliver good work."


Embracing our People Promise

We recently unveiled our People Promise to our our team:


OneStone prioritizes the inclusion of diverse perspectives. We aspire for all team members to feel like this is a place where they belong. Where they are respected by the company and are empowered to impact the business and achieve their full potential. We understand that relationships built on trust, respect and communication better serve our clients, team members and business.


OneStone team photo and people promise
OneStone's People Promise

Our People Promise serves to set the standards of fostering a supportive work environment, one that thrives on collaboration and creativity and that cultivates a place where team members are respected, valued and supported.


"We were motivated by how our team has been learning and listening, vulnerably and humbly during our DEI sessions with the IDEALS team from the University of Arkansas," says Emmy Evans, Director of HR at OneStone. "We firmly believe that diverse perspectives and background drive our innovation and curiosity, making this promise a catalyst for embracing unique viewpoints, both among our team members and prospective ones."


Imagine a promise that becomes the compass guiding an organization, fostering a culture of respect, innovation, and inclusion. OneStone's People Promise stands as a beacon, a testament to its deep-rooted belief that relationships matter. This promise, sparked by the company's engagement in DEI sessions, reflects a commitment to respect, value, and support. It's a testament to OneStone's mission to cultivate a diverse and curious community that thrives on collaboration, creativity, and mutual respect.


I’m most excited to see how our team takes ownership in our people promise. I anticipate that they are going to bring creative ways to keep it relevant and impactful within our teams.

Living the Values: Stories of Connection and Collaboration

Relationships: The essence of OneStone's culture resides in its emphasis on relationships. For Emmy Evans, this value is deeply personal. What motivated the organization to create this People Promise? As she recalls, "The motivation for creating a People Promise came from the desire to create an outward statement that could serve as a cornerstone for our team and those that work with us regarding how we desire to treat and work with those around us." The People Promise, a commitment of OneStone, needs to be in every interaction and collaboration, and a testament to the value that "people matter."


Transparency: As we delve deeper into the value of transparency, we lean towards openness over secrecy. We will communicate internally and externally with truth and candor. It's this very transparency that fosters an environment where ideas flow freely, where concerns are addressed, and where solutions are co-crafted through honest discussions.


One team member at OneStone shared a story of a pivotal moment when transparency made a difference. "During a project, we faced a critical challenge. Instead of keeping it under wraps, we brought it to the forefront immediately and asked for help. The result? Collaborative brainstorming led to innovative solutions from others in completely different departments, and the project not only recovered but exceeded expectations. This experience reinforced our belief that transparency fuels growth."


Ownership: "We work like we each own the company," Ownership isn't just a title at OneStone; it's a call to action. We're decisive and strive for excellence. We see the big picture and how our role fits. We continually look for opportunities to learn and grow.


We recount an instance of ownership's transformative power. A newer team member proposed a new process that streamlined our workflow. What struck was the ownership and courage they took in not just identifying the issue but presenting a solution. This value of ownership empowers each member of OneStone to be a driver of change.


Teamwork: The team is greater than the individual. We look to create and celebrate others' success. We will be springboards for each other, not roadblocks. This ethos is more than mere words; it's a guiding principle that encourages collaboration beyond boundaries.


Working in retail is fast and sometimes, if not all the time, chaotic. During a challenging project, we witnessed a remarkable display of teamwork. Individuals from different departments collaborated seamlessly, leveraging each other's strengths. The result? A project delivered ahead of schedule and a newfound trust that extended beyond the project's scope.


Excellence: The passionate pursuit of identifying and achieving a best-in-class outcome. It's a value that is present in every client interaction, every project delivery, and every solution proposed. Excellence is about delivering an experience and result that exceeds expectations. Our CEO, Bill Waitsman, recently said in a team meeting, "We have added the value of excellence as we can afford nothing less with our clients. We are experts and our clients count on us. We must stay ahead of our clients in how we think about their business vs simply reacting to their questions."


Emmy shares her pride in the creation of the People Promise and the company's DEI efforts. The promise encapsulates OneStone's heart – fostering relationships, cultivating innovation, and valuing individuals. It's a commitment to transparency, authenticity, and meaningful interactions. Equally inspiring is the team's embrace of vulnerability, compassion, and curiosity, which has woven through the fabric of the company's culture.


How do we make sure this isn't a one-time initiative?

Emmy responds, "We are integrating it into our website, job descriptions and as an interview topic for potential team members to see on the front end. Allowing them to see if this is something they want to help us grow and foster while they consider joining us as well as to hold us accountable for it when they join. Setting the expectation from the outset, so we can create a foundation for shared values among our team, similar to how we view our company values of relationship, transparency, ownership and teamwork.


For current team members it will be integrated into our review process to build on conversations, encourage alignment with our company values and give space to discuss. We continue to integrate conversation and engagement through our weekly surveys and coffee chats so that team members can reflect on their personal understanding of it, how they have observed it, how they define it, to encourage reflection, self assessment and a deeper understanding of our shared values that bring us together as a team.

I’m most excited to see how our team takes ownership in our people promise. I anticipate that they are going to bring creative ways to keep it relevant and impactful within our teams."


OneStone's journey is one of values transformed into action. The People Promise serves as a lighthouse, guiding the way towards a culture of respect, diversity, and innovation. The values of relationships, transparency, ownership, teamwork, and excellence form the pillars upon which OneStone stands. As our story continues to grow, these values remain the guiding light, inspiring growth, connection, and a commitment to excellence.

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