Seven years ago, we celebrated what remains one of our most important accomplishments at WP Engine—the declaration of our Core Values—which had an immediate and lasting impact on our business.
I remember it well. It was September 2013, and I was a brand new CEO at WP Engine. I knew then that putting the essence of our culture into words and setting forth principles that would serve to guide our decision-making would be a company-defining effort, and it was made all the more powerful by the thoughtful, heartfelt work our employees put into answering a single, albeit crucial question: “What do we stand for?”
In boiling down their answers, we arrived at five key principles, our original Core Values:
- Do the right thing
- Where the best get better
- Aspiring to lead, committed to give back
- Customer inspired
- Built to last
From the moment they were unveiled, these values were relied on as the framework for our decision-making and our touchstone for inspiration. They provided us with everyday reminders of who we are as a company, and they served us exceedingly well in our connections with our customers, as well as internally in the connections we’ve formed with one another.
But over the past seven years, and really since our founding more than a decade ago, we’ve also been fortunate to see those connections grow exponentially. When we first wrote our values in 2013, we were a three-year-old company with 40 employees. Today, WP Engine is a global organization, with customers all around the world and almost 1,000 employees across the U.S., Europe, and Australia.
We also experienced a significant expansion in 2019, with the addition of Flywheel to the WP Engine family. One of the key aspects of Flywheel and WP Engine’s mutual attraction was that the two companies had so many Core Values in common. In coming together, we saw an immediate opportunity to bring together two vibrant companies and cultures into one.
Flywheel’s Core Values included:
- We are excellent to each other.
- We are hungry.
- We are a work in progress.
- We believe design matters.
- We embrace weirdness.
- We are productive community members.
- We are data-informed, not data-driven.
As we look to the future through that lens of togetherness, examining who we are now and who we aspire to be, we felt It was time to revisit our shared values that inform our sense of direction, and evolve our guiding principles as we head into a new phase of growth and maturity.
This was no small task. Given the important, daily role our Core Values play, we knew it was a vital, albeit challenging project. We began by taking a fresh look at our existing values from both Flywheel and WP Engine, and again, were struck by the similarities.
At the same time, we also convened a dedicated committee of culture leaders from across the organization, broken into four teams, which each provided a strong, consistent vision of values imbued with ethics, concern for our customers, intentionality and craft, community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and growth and stability.
Through meaningful discussions and many late nights, we reorganized, combined, and refined the output from these teams to then create our five new Core Values, which will continue to serve as the framework for our decisions and the way we hold ourselves accountable going forward.
While some of our values remained unchanged in title, we reimagined what they entail and the ways we will apply them going forward—integrating the best of Flywheel and WP Engine to reflect the inspiration all of our employees have gained from shared experiences, and to honor the legacy of each set of original Core Values.
All of our new Core Values were purposely imbued with language that deeply reflects our commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as our mission to inspire both organizational and personal growth. Our Core Values Design team also helped infuse them with creativity in order to create intentional, beautiful typography for each one.
This is who we are—these are WP Engine’s new Core Values:
- Do the right thing
- Customer inspired
- Design matters
- Committed to give back
- Built for growth
Do the Right Thing
- When it’s right for the customer, right for the company, and you’re proud of your decision, you’ve done the right thing.
- We treat each other with kindness and respect, creating a safe place for everyone to thrive.
- We speak openly, transparently share results, forgive honest mistakes, act ethically, and are excellent to each other.
- We amaze customers with our service, expertise, and transparency.
- We build the future with our customers, earning trust and advocacy by choosing long-term investment over short-term gain.
- We are grateful for our role in our customers’ lives; when they win, we win.
- We believe that good design is good business.
- We create exceptional experiences in everything we do, from products that surprise and delight our customers, to a culture designed to make every team member feel they belong.
- We are proud of our work when it is intentionally designed and thoughtfully crafted.
Committed to Give Back
- We believe that great leaders give back and inspire others to do the same.
- We empower our teams to lead and participate meaningfully in their own communities, changing lives, growing and thriving together.
- We advance the WordPress Community through original contribution, sharing expertise, and active participation.
Built for Growth
- We are a place where everyone can grow—no matter what you look like, who you love, where you come from, or what you believe.
- We are a work in progress. When we win, we celebrate our success and stay hungry. When we fail, we embrace opportunities to improve and learn.
- We build for growth and sustainability because financial health ensures we’re in control of our future.
I’m extremely proud of where we landed, and I’m grateful for all of the hard work that went into crafting these new, refreshed values. I’m confident that they not only capture the essence of WP Engine today but offer a clear vision of what we aspire to be in the future. We want to empower each of our team members to not only deliver amazing customer experiences but to work in tandem with one another as we keep building an open, transparent, diverse, and welcoming workplace.
Our original Core Values played an enormous role in making WP Engine what it is today. I have no doubt that our new Core Values will be critical in shaping the WP Engine of tomorrow.