How we’re prioritizing a values-driven culture at our growing company
Ribbon Health exists to power every care decision to be cost-effective, convenient, and high-quality. Our mission is to simplify healthcare.
It’s an audacious goal, and one that requires a group of people working together to solve this immensely important and difficult problem.
From the very beginning of Ribbon, my co-founder Nate and I knew that a vision for our company and how we work with one another was so much more than just a vision for our product or distribution. It was a statement of the type of place we would all show up to and be proud to work in every day.
Our goal was to create a set of values that were specific, actionable, aligned to our company purpose, and that were reliant on each other to help us make hard decisions in the most difficult settings. We wrote six values that continue to ring true at Ribbon today:
- Run Toward Hard Problems | We are motivated by the toughest challenges. We seek out hard problems that have the most impact and solve them to help those who need it most.
- Put Your Team First | We are a family. We are all happier and healthier when we take care of each other and put each other’s needs ahead of our own.
- Do What You Say | We are honest with each other. We are accountable to each other.
- Stay Hungry, Keep Improving | We are humble. We will make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and be better because of those mistakes.
- Practice Habits of Excellence | We measure our success by the process it took to get there. We will always do our very best and we are proud of the outcome because of it.
- Build With Empathy | We are building the best healthcare experience for our users. When faced with a difficult decision, we do what’s best for people’s lives.
What these values mean
New candidates frequently ask “What is the culture at Ribbon?”. I find it incredibly difficult to answer this question succinctly without oversimplifying the diverse, dynamic, and truly exceptional group of people I work with every day.
However, I can assert confidently the intention behind the type of culture we’re looking to build. Our culture is a culmination of our values and the actions they encourage. Among much more, we hope these values materialize as:
- A culture of kindness: A team that cares for each other and seeks to make each other the best version of ourselves. An environment where we all see feedback as a gift, where we provide positive feedback and praise for each other loudly and publicly, and where we put in the effort to give each other helpful constructive feedback to help each other grow and improve. The type of place where, if a teammate needs to leave to pick up their kid from school at 3 pm and a meeting is going over, the rest of the team stops the meeting so our teammate can prioritize their personal needs.
- A culture of confidence: A team that strives towards high performance and excellence. An exceptional group of people who, in the face of a difficult challenge, believe in themselves and each other so much that they know they’ll overcome any obstacle together. An environment where we set high bars for one another and consistently rise to the challenge and do our best work. A team that never blames one another for a past mistake but instead sees it as an opportunity to fix the mistake and learn and grow from it together.
- A culture of inclusion: A team that embraces and seeks out diversity to better our team, ourselves, and our company, to drive equity, and to drive inclusivity. An environment that creates and nurtures psychological safety. An environment where we can have regular and vigorous debates that are respectful and challenge each other’s assumptions to unlock unique perspectives that change our minds and our impact.
We are building this culture by thinking hard about the true definition of our values and how they encourage us to work together, talk to each other, and make decisions together.
Living our values
Our values are not just words on a page or wall. They are a part of the everyday fabric of our company and resonate in every decision that we make at Ribbon.
For example, every Monday at Ribbon starts with our weekly “All-Paws” (formerly known as all-hands, but changed as an homage to the many pets who join us!), where we reflect on our six values and highlight the moments when we lived our values.
Another habit at Ribbon I find inspiring is our “Norms Lunch” for every new teammate. When a new teammate joins us, we as a team openly discuss our motivators and stressors, how we give and get feedback, and our lifestyle norms. By having open and vulnerable conversations together, we ensure that we have empathy for each other and truly can put each other first.
Starting with our All-Paws and resonating throughout the week, I hear my teammates use our values in everyday language, citing a hard problem we can run toward or recommending that we build with empathy to ensure we can keep improving after a mistake we’ve made. Our values ensure that we make decisions and celebrate accomplishments with our values in mind, and that we can continue improving our culture of inclusion, a culture of confidence, and a culture of kindness.
We are all bought in to these values and our culture for two main reasons: 1) the only way we can be successful in our mission to simplify healthcare is by building an exceptional culture; and 2) even if we don’t have the company outcome we all hope for, we believe every person at Ribbon should feel joining Ribbon was the best career decision they’ve ever made.
We have committed to each other that our values are at the core of our entire approach to working together, and we live and act on them to ensure we can continue to build and strengthen our values-driven environment. This philosophy governs how we approach recruiting, interviewing, a fair and equitable compensation model, onboarding, ongoing learning and development, and so much more.
Where we go from here
Our values, and how we have lived them thus far, is only the beginning.
We have an immense amount of work to do as a team and as a company. I am sincerely grateful and honored to be a part of this values-driven team on our journey together. Our values enable us to do the work toward our vision of making every healthcare decision cost-effective, convenient, and high-quality.
This vision is entirely driven by the people at Ribbon Health.
If this resonates with you and you’d like to join us, check out our job openings.