How to Intentionally Build Your Company Culture (Rather Than Leave It to Chance)

Culture is like a hairstyle: Everyone has one, even if they’re bald. You can either pursue a style that accurately reflects your personality, or you can pretend it doesn’t matter and end up looking like Edward Scissorhands. If you haven’t been actively focused on your company culture, it can be hard to see clearly. It’s the same reason you don’t understand the quirks of your family when you’re a kid, but as an adult, you can look back on them with clarity. Whether you see it or not, company culture is a big deal for several reasons. 1. Employee satisfaction. An overwhelming number of statistics reveal the negative consequences of low employee engagement. Dissatisfied workers lead to greater absenteeism, lower productivity and higher turnover rates. If your employees are dissatisfied or bored at work, you have a serious problem. 2. Financial performance. Your culture is apparent to outsiders you interact with (vendors, customers, business partners, etc.), and no one wants to work with a negative company. It’s hard to communicate a positive identity when negative things are happening in your organization. For example, GitHub’s alpha-male culture apparently forced a female employee to quit. The PR and financial nightmare that ensued showed outsiders that it’s a bad place to work. A positive culture attracts outsiders while creating excited employees who advocate for the company. Culture increases productivity and boosts your image to improve financial performance. 3. Personal benefits. One of the privileges of running a business is influencing how it’s run. You don’t get to separate yourself from the culture you create: You suffer or enjoy whatever environment develops. Additionally, your personal values and character are reflected by your business, so make that image accurate. Taking charge [...]

Awards Are More Than Fancy Paperweights — They’re Good for Your Agency

Everyone eagerly awaits Hollywood’s most glamorous red carpet moments. They want to see who the lucky dates are, who gets too tipsy, and who takes home a gold statue. But why should Hollywood have all the fun? Creative agencies deserve recognition too. Events such as the CLIO Awards, the Cannes Lions and The One Show are opportunities for creative agencies to receive recognition for themselves and their clients and take home the awards—not to mention a chance to glam it up and have a party. Yet agency leaders are often reluctant to enter these competitions. They mistakenly view the process as a distraction at best, and a waste of time and resources at worst. Creatives are usually the ones driving award initiatives, trying to convince their bosses that submitting their work isn’t just about their own ego. The truth is that awards are more than fancy, feel-good paperweights; they’re actually good for the bottom line. Here’s why: Awards establish benchmarks. Award-winning ads are 11 times more effective than other ads. Using awards’ standards for projects can raise the bar within your agency and increase overall work quality. By distinguishing the best talent, awards also help establish benchmarks that inspire and shape the industry. Winning differentiates your agency. According to the 2014 AMI research report, more than a third of companies are looking for an agency to gain specialized expertise. Peer recognition helps distinguish your agency from the herd. The key is to apply for awards that mean something to your market. For example, Ford and Coca-Cola will likely be interested in how many CLIO or Cannes Lions awards you’ve racked up over the years. Added credibility can help you win new business. Current clients may not care [...]

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