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 [...]

Building Loyalty Within An Agency

In May 2016, the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against Domino’s for underpaying workers at least $565,000 at 10 of its New York stores. The pizza chain urged franchisees to use its PULSE computer system — even though executives knew the system had been under-calculating gross wages for years. Long story short, Domino’s opted not to fix the flaw, instead labeling it a low-priority issue. In doing so, Domino’s kept vital information from employees. Not only did employees lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, but Domino’s also lost employees’ trust. Communicate Openly for Success In today’s workforce, in which employees are motivated by company inclusivity and identifying with employer values, successful agencies are transparent with employees. They clearly define annual goals and aspirations with team members. With measurable milestones set, agencies must communicate regularly to ensure everyone stays informed, motivated, and excited about their work and the agency as a whole. It’s not enough to distribute the company Kool-Aid; getting employees to drink it requires you to authentically express — face-to-face — why you believe in your agency and what end goals it will achieve. Passion and charisma are contagious. Help your team members understand what drives you, and they will enthusiastically commit. Some issues like salaries are meant to be kept private, but others — like the financial state of your business — should be shared. When employees don’t have access to financial data, they miss out on critical facts like company profitability or loss, cash flow, and gross margin comparisons with direct competitors. Teams without this valuable information are limited, which can result in poor decision-making. Share your numbers with your employees to show that you trust and value them. Building Loyalty [...]

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