3 Steps to Building Great Company Culture

AmyLyons_finalAside from developing best practices to overcome challenges in our growth, SHIFT also places a large emphasis on building a fun and innovative agency culture. We believe that fostering a fun environment leads to motivated employees and great results! Here’s how you can build your own unique company culture as well:

Step 1: Define your values

As your agency grows, it will eventually reach a point where you will need to better define your values. That is, what aspect of your culture defines what it means to be part of your company? Sit down and flesh out the top ideals you want everyone – from management to interns – to embrace in their daily work.

Once you identify those values, it becomes easier to institutionalize processes around recruitment and retention. This helps to ensure that you are attracting individuals who mirror your culture, and keeping them around to contribute to the unique personality of your company. This is especially important during significant periods of change, stress, or growth, when it can be easy to lose your culture. By adhering to a set of values, you can protect the thing that makes your agency a great place to work!

Step 2: Foster an environment of innovation

Not surprisingly, agency growth is boosted by strong agency culture. Recruit and focus on retaining talent that will bring in new ideas that will complement and integrate with your current business.

In fact, SHIFT has had the greatest success expanding practice areas or service offerings when it was driven internally, by leveraging staff members with a passion or experience who can take ownership of the initiative. This “intra-preneurship” guarantees that the team is dedicated to the project, versus just assigning someone a new initiative and sending them on their way.

Step 3: Balance great culture and excellent work

SHIFT places a strong emphasis on agency culture and employee happiness, while at the same time producing high-visibility work for a variety of clients. How does an agency maintain this healthy balance between a fun corporate culture and an efficient workplace?

Ultimately, the secret of success lies in integrating a strong team focus with a culture that is excited and motivated by great work. You can foster this culture by rewarding and incentivizing performance in fun ways. For example: team lunches and events, bonuses for stellar campaign results, sponsoring your employees to attend workshops and networking events.

Focus on building an organization that empowers staff at every level to learn new things, work without a “fear of failure,” and find balance between fun and innovation. Recognize performance, but do so in a way that emphasizes strengthening team and agency culture as a whole.

Amy Lyons
President

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Posted on April 24, 2013 in Brand, Strategy

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change.

Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim.

He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast.

Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.

  • E Richardson

    Company culture is a lot more important than I think is realised at times, which is why it is great that you offer helpful tips to fostering one. Personally I really appreciated your last point in regards to empowering entry level staff. I know when I entered my first job it was really helpful to have a manager that allowed me to work without a fear of failure. It is when we are first starting out that PR practitioners need to take risks, fail at times, and continue working in order to grow as practitioners. PR isn’t a simple industry, so the first few years in the job are crucial.

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