A guest post by Stan Duncan, Senior Executive Vice President of U.S. Human Resources and Global Head of Management for Westfield, LLC.
Following a yearlong dialogue with employees nationwide, Westfield in the U.S. unveils our official company vision, purpose, and values.
For the past 50 years, Westfield has earned international acclaim as a pioneer in the world of retail property ownership, design, and management.
From our humble origins as one small delicatessen opposite a suburban train station— we have taken such an unbelievable ride. Today, our investment portfolio of 119 shopping centers is one of the world’s largest— valued at some $60 billion.
This remarkable evolution could only have been made possible from the tireless efforts, vision, perseverance, and creativity brought to bear by our Westfield team members. During this past half-century, our senior executive leadership and all our employees have steadily built a definitive company culture. It’s something we often refer to as “The Westfield Way”.
“The Westfield Way” is all about rolling up our sleeves and getting things done. Putting in a hard, honest day’s work each and every day. Finding solutions fast and with ingenuity. “The Westfield Way” means never deferring responsibility and never making excuses. Never waiting for someone else to complete a task that can be done on our own. It’s the belief that none of us is above offering assistance to a shopper struggling to carry bags or having difficulty locating where they parked.
While this company culture has remained very much alive—even after 50 years—it’s never been formalized systematically. “The Westfield Way” has always been learned organically, as new employees follow the example of longtime veterans. However, in recent years, we’ve seen more and more great companies taking the time to clarify their company culture and values for the benefit of their employees, stakeholders, and customers.
At Westfield, too, we’ve come to believe that clearly defining our company values can help give us a clearer sense of our direction and serve as a guiding force in developing our strategies and annual goals. We’ve come to believe that by identifying our values we’ll be better positioned to assess business options and make good collective decisions.
For all these reasons, Westfield has just spent the past year engaged in a rigorous analysis of the behaviors long understood to be associated with the “Westfield Way”. We’ve conducted focus groups with our employees to better understand this culture and give us the ability to formally enunciate four principal core values which—until now—were not explicitly identified as such.
Earlier this year, we brought 500 of our top managers together for our 2011 National Meeting, where we unveiled these values to all in attendance. We challenged our teams to imbibe these values to their fullest and to disseminate them to all the employees under their supervision during the course of field training sessions. We are now encouraging all Westfield employees to consider themselves “brand ambassadors” in the truest sense and to embody our core values in their everyday interactions with fellow employees, retailers, as well as the shoppers and the communities whom we serve.
We are convinced that the promulgation of these core values will allow us the best opportunity to realize our company vision and company purpose. And we are certain that these values will help continue to differentiate Westfield as a cutting-edge innovator with a living culture that guides us in all we do.