“We make ingenious improvements” – how we’re celebrating this kununu core value

Linda Le Phan

Company core values. What are they all about anyway?

Simply put, a company’s core values are principles or standards of behaviors that represent their organization. These values say a lot about the type of people who are in it, what they stand for, and why the company exists in the first place.

But that’s only if the company has any values established!

Some companies don’t actually ever go through the exercise of defining and displaying their core values to the world and that’s a shame, because having clear company core values is a great way to give the public (and potential future job applicants and customers) an authentic view into the things that matter to the organization.

Keep in mind, however, that a company’s core values is different than a company’s mission:

  • A company’s mission is a singular credo or statement of beliefs that explains why the company does what it does – the WHO and WHAT of the company’s goals.
  • Meanwhile, the company’s values are the drivers of HOW the company achieves their mission (in common principles and standards of behavior).


Take Nike for example (since they’ve been in the news as of late):

Nike’s company mission statement is: to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.”
While Nike’s core values are: performance, authenticity, innovation and sustainability.

See the difference? Nike uses their values to accomplish their mission in a way that’s true to them, which is what every company should do.

Which brings us to share more about our core values here at kununu….


kununu’s core values

Now that you have context about the concept of core values, it’s time to tell you all about ours here at kununu, something that we haven’t yet shared on our blog.

kununu’s core values are:

We are bold
We keep an open mind and open company
We make ingenious improvements
We focus on goals and outcomes
We give a damn


As a company, we’re extremely value-driven – so much so that we’re constantly finding ways to integrate our core values into day-to-day work life in each of our global locations (Boston, Vienna, Porto and Berlin). The latest way that we’re doing that is, starting this quarter, we’re choosing one core value each quarter to celebrate internally and externally, online and offline.

The core value value that we’re starting with is…

We make ingenious improvements

Some guiding thoughts around this value…

  • Striving to make the workplace better means never being satisfied. At kununu, we stay hungry and add smart, creative ideas and resourcefulness to make things happen.
  • We can tell when the wind changes and adjust our sails accordingly – to succeed in the long run.
  • We learn from our peers, but we don’t blindly copy and paste. We add our own thinking, and elevate it to solve the challenges we face.
  • Nothing ever gets better by saying “it’s good enough“ – we don’t tolerate mediocrity or complacency. Just ‘ok’ is not ok.



Examples of how we live this core value at kununu

One example of how we already live this core value – we make ingenious improvements – is through a weekly tradition that exists in every global kununu office (Boston, Vienna, Porto and Berlin); the kudo wall.

kudo wall

Each office has their own version of a kudo wall with cards that represent each one of our five core values. It’s here that employees are encouraged to share and acknowledge (either anonymously or not) on the designated cards how their fellow team member(s) exemplified the company’s individual core values. Then, every week the cards get posted on the wall for all to see:



kudos in the company newsletter (and on Slack)

Aside from being hung on each office’s kudo wall, the entries also all get transcribed and sent around in our global Slack channel and also in the global company newsletter that goes out every Friday to every employee. This gives each person who received a kudo that week their full moment of recognition among the whole company.


And here are even more examples of the actual kudos that were given out to kununu employees over the past few months for the value “We make ingenious improvements”:


May 18th
-Kudos to @kerstin.birochs for making such nice HR-presentations! Thank you!

June 8th
-From Helder to Michael Domingues: Thank you @mdomingues for revamping our on-boarding process in Porto and being a great ambassador for our new colleagues. You rock!
-@Chris Stephenson Thank you for your support/suggestions w/ Company Topic English copy. Ingenious Improvements :slightly_smiling_face:
-Thank you @nicholas.agardy for finding a hack that helps us to automatically track leads from our toolkit-page. Anna

June 28th
-@Chris – Thank you for help and discussions to figure out our lead problem
-@Chris thank you for helping me to achieve ingenious improvements – I am learning new things every week
-@Tatjana for making our office fabulous and organizing the company breakfast
-@Martin – for having patience when testing pricing page, lead problems etc.
-@fabian.friede: For ingenious improvements in drip, zapier etc. Keep going!

July 5th
-@charles.lloyd- Wednesday lunches were a total pick me up to the quiet Wednesdays. Great idea!

July 13th
-To @nicholas.agardy, thanks sooo much for taking your precious time and helping me with the configuration of my skateboard and showing me where „to real toolbox“ is. You’re awesome!
-@Thomas Hutchings! Awesome video and really cool to see all of the different ideas you are working on. Keep up the great creative work, can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

July 26th
-Thank you @nicholas.agardy, @Susanna Kahr and @anna.glombitzaoelsner for launching our new toolkit site. Now we can do ingenious improvements on our own. Even better!

August 2nd
-@Courtney Gray great job on the summer party!

August 31st
-@Chris Stephenson: Thanks for this awesome Admin Tool for the CS Team!
-@mirko.berger thank you for your open mind, your fresh ideas (brainstorming sessions) and the great outcome -> ads
-Mike Sousa: Working with the engage dev team to get us all working together more efficiently


office reminders

To make even more sure that our spotlight kununu core value of *making ingenious improvements* is top of mind throughout this quarter, every office also has printouts hung up in common areas for all to see – these printouts contain some useful detail about what the value means in day-to-day work life and activities:

“We make ingenious improvements” sign on the refrigerator in the kununu Boston office.


This is just the beginning of our work as an organization to share, communicate and celebrate the core values that drive everything we do here at kununu.

What do you think about what we’ve done so far? Do you have any suggestions on what else we could do / incorporate? Let us know @kununu_US!


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Linda Le Phan is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu US, a place where job seekers can get an authentic view of life at a company and where employers have a trusted platform to better engage talent. When she’s not creating content about the modern workplace, company culture, and life & work hacks, she is probably going out to get an iced coffee (even in Boston winter), raiding the snack drawer, or jamming to kununu’s Spotify playlist.