The first leg of Hion’s value journey

Jenni Fredriksson-Bass, CPO

At the beginning of the year, we embarked on a journey to define our values, which resulted in the identification of three new core values. How did we arrive at these values, and what does the journey look like going forward?

When I started at Hion as the Chief People Officer at the beginning of the year, the company was in a transitional phase. The post-merger integration and the implementation of a new strategy had been started the previous autumn, and the pieces were still finding their right place.

The day-to-day operations of the organization were up and running, but there was still much to be done. When two companies join forces, it takes time to ensure that the whole system operates smoothly and to understand who we are in this new configuration.

Brand work had already been initiated when I joined the company, and the major high-level guidelines were established. However, the definition of values had been deliberately postponed until I could take on the values work on my desk. This would also allow me to evaluate the old values and the value work done so far with a fresh set of eyes.

Professionally, the situation was exhilarating for me. It’s rare to encounter an opportunity like this, where values are defined almost from a clean slate to reflect what the company is now and what it aims to be in the future.

There was no need to fight against windmills, as the importance of values as part of the company’s core was well understood, all the way up to the executive team. Advancing the new values was indeed one of my main objectives for the first six months at Hion.

Values are the guiding principles behind all actions and form the foundation for the workplace, culture, and organization. They steer the operations: for instance, when considering a solution to a problem, values can guide us in the right direction. Values become reality only when they are lived out in practice.

Starting the value journey

The value work began by building upon what had already been done. It was personally very important to me that we used the work, thoughts, and ideas that had been gathered by involving Hion’s employees during the autumn of 2022 as a starting point.

Groundwork had already been laid during the company integration project, and employees had been involved in the value work through surveys and workshops. We wanted to ensure that the employees’ voices were strongly represented in our values and in what we aspire to be in the future.

We chewed over and sifted through the values with the executive team, considering them from the perspectives of both company leadership and the future.

  • Are these values ones that we, as Hion’s leaders, can endorse?
  • Do they help us move towards our strategic goals?
  • How do the values function in various situations that the company might encounter?
  • Do they reflect the Hion that we want to be in the future as a company, organization, and workplace?

Based on these discussions and comments, I compiled summaries and analyses, and grouped the values.

It was also important to us that the number of values was just right for us: not too many, and no overly complicated or lengthy explanations. We settled on three distinct values that would be easy to remember. With responsibility at the core of our strategy, it was essential that this was reflected in our values.

Based on the previous value work, our employees strongly emphasized the desire to do our work well and to be proud of it, while inspiring our clients and each other. It was crucial to incorporate these thoughts into our new values.

The three values we ultimately settled on, in our opinion, inspire us in change and represent the direction we want to head in.

We also aimed to keep the values practical enough to be truly present in our everyday work and to provide a point of connection for everyone.

The values were refined into their final form with the help of an external partner over the summer. We decided that the values would be first launched in English, since changing our company language to English was already on the horizon.

Hion's values


We are professional and proud – and not afraid to have fun


We are courageous, curious leaders – and we always keep an open mind


We make a difference on the world around us – and help others to do the same

The selected values were validated in the fall through a few employees who had been involved in the value work previously. Ideally, I would have liked to test the new values with a broader test group before their launch, but the unveiling of the new brand and name put its own pressure on the timeline for the values. Inquiries about the company’s values were also already coming from both Hion’s employees and prospective employees.

Greater involvement of the employees in the latter stages of the value work would certainly have helped in engaging Hion staff more deeply with the new values and in implementing them more quickly. After the summer holidays, the values were internally published. We went through them in a presentation, explaining the journey of how we arrived at these values and why.

How do we ensure that the values don’t just become empty words?

Implementing values doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye, as many of us know. The values should be evident in our actions: in our work with customers, within our community, in the ways we interact with each other, in various everyday work choices, and in recruitment situations. The values are not yet fully reflected in all our actions as desired, but it is already apparent how the new values help us evaluate our choices and methods of operation, and most importantly, discuss these together.

To address the values soon after their announcement, we held a value workshop for the entire company, where we divided into small groups to discuss what the values mean to each of us on an individual level, team level, and at the company level. This workshop was the first extensive gathering around the new values, and it provides a solid foundation to continue implementing the values in practice.

Since value work is an ongoing process, we have planned various activities for the coming year to approach the values from different angles. We also listen attentively to the thoughts and ideas of our employees on how to best advance the values.

In the next blog about Hion’s journey with values, you will hear about how we have been implementing these values in practice.