How Your Company Values Can Guide Your Culture: Codex’s Journey



Codex were first recognised as a Best Workplace in Ireland with Great Place to Work in 2017. Established in 1979 by Brendan Murphy, Codex was founded to offer its customers great value and an unbeatable local service on their day-to-day office supplies. Since then, they have continued to grow and expand to become a specialist in B2B office solutions, transitioning from a one-person operation to today having over 80 staff members and €33 million in turnover.

But how have they managed this growth, and what steps are they taking to ensure a great company culture across the board? Read on to find out about Codex’s journey to solidifying that great company culture, with their values at the forefront of this mission.

New leadership team

For Codex, the challenges brought by the pandemic highlighted that for the big decisions, it is more important than ever to have strong core values. Around this same time, they were undergoing a change in leadership. With Patrick Murphy as the newly-appointed CEO, a new Senior Management Team were also appointed in order to ensure that Codex’s business and culture objectives aligned as they continued moving with the times and changing customer requirements.


The main project and framework around this was based on defining Codex’s values. This was a collaborative effort with involvement from both management and individual contributors across the organisation. Employees were invited to give their feedback and vote on the values; this level of employee involvement helped to create more ownership and awareness of the values throughout the organisation. 


Check out our webinar with Codex CEO Patrick Murphy, where he discusses these values and the journey it took to get there here. 👇

Values Webinar


Codex's values


Codex’s 5 key values are customer first, innovation, ambition, belonging and integrity. These were formed through both senior management and individual employee collaboration, but also by recognising previous failings and learnings and acknowledging that core values should lead the organisation's strategy, not the other way around.


Customer first: "Putting the customer needs first, working with colleagues across departments to solve problems, analysing and sharing customer feedback". Through initiatives like enhanced onboarding and induction, new starters can feel fully equipped to assist with this core value throughout the business from day one.

Innovation: "Encouraging diverse thinking, being respectful when others share an idea, thinking outside of the box". Codex have delivered on this through a thorough investment in technology and innovation, with €2m invested in IT infrastructure and solutions in the last three years.

Integrity: "Treating others with respect, standing up for what is right, taking ownership of your mistakes". Through the Codex Cares programme, they work together to identify actions and initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, have a positive impact on the local community and help develop career opportunities for local students.

Ambition: "Helping others to overcome challenges, challenging ourselves at work, striving for excellence in everything you do". Codex have a commitment to ongoing talent development, with 16 internal staff movements since 2019.

Belonging: "Ensuring that you are actively listening to others, being mindful of how your actions may impact someone else, practicing transparent and open communication". Codex saw a 12% increase in 2022 in staff feeling involved in decision-making, showcasing a feeling of belonging and increased staff involvement.

Through all these measures, Codex's trust level increased to 78% in 2022, achieving recognition as Best Workplace™️ in Ireland in 2021, 2022 and 2023 in the Small Category. An increased turnover from €28m in 2020 to €33m in 2022 also highlights the effect implementing great values and culture can have on an organisation as a whole; employees who feel content and looked after at work will in turn be able to deliver a great experience to the customer.

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An ongoing commitment

Codex are committed to the fact that their values aren't just something to write down and forget, but must be constantly incorporated within the organisation in order for them to really take effect. This can take time and there is no "quick fix". A tip from CEO Patrick Murphy is the importance of incorporating values into role definitions, performance management and professional development plans, so that they are reinforced in everything you do.

A testament to the great work Codex do is their achievement of the Special Ambassadors Award at GPTW's 2023 Best Workplaces Awards this February. Codex's Aisling Murray, HR Director and Emily McKenzie, Head of Marketing took home the prize due to the central roles they have played in codifying, articulating and branding the culture and employee experience journey. In supporting Codex and its people through a growth trajectory and rebrand, Aisling and Emily have been integral in building, defining and expanding Codex's values as an organisation. Throughout the process, they engaged stakeholders from across the business and continue to strive to bring those values to life both internally and externally. 

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Learn more about Codex's Great Place to Work journey here 👇


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About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. We help organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. We recognise Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in more than 60 countries.

To join the thousands of companies that have committed to building high-trust company cultures that help them attract, retain and take care of their people, contact us about getting Certified™ today.


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Ireland's Best Workplaces 2023

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