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Is It You Or The Culture?

[lead]Imagine this: You walk through the front door of the marketing agency where you just started working. It’s silent. Nobody says hello, there’s no chatter about what your coworkers did over the weekend, everyone is zoned out in their own small, bland cubicles. Sound like a hellacious nightmare?[/lead]
Let’s analyze why this environment can be toxic with some Culture Makeup 101.

Lately, there’s been lots of buzz around company culture. This millennial-driven term is helping to shape how companies function. There are countless factors that make up culture, including the CEO’s personality, job perks, co-workers, office color and decor, etc.

Today’s employees, myself included, don’t want to be confined to traditional parameters placed on the workplaces of yesterday. That doesn’t make us whiny or entitled, it makes us advocates for a better workplace. We’re “at work” for a minimum of 40 hours a week, so why shouldn’t we have a say in what our work life looks like? (Full disclosure, I’m writing this from a bean bag chair.)

This culture shift has been inspired by innovative companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook. These companies rely on their employees to think outside the box, so they’re providing employees with an environment to match.

Company culture is important across all industries, but vital for marketing, advertising, and public relations agencies. Agencies have to constantly provide fresh, creative ideas that give value to clients. If an agency has a toxic, negative culture, clients will be able to tell through interactions and quality of work. Prospective hires may be scared off too. It’s bad. Negative culture is just all bad.

The culture helps define the company, how it functions, and its overall atmosphere. Anyone should be able to look at your company on social media and see that it’s a great place to work.

Does a walk help get your creative juices flowing? Do you need to work from home today? Can you go talk to a co-worker if you’re feeling social? Go ahead! If it makes you a better, more productive employee, just do it!

Shia Just Do It Gif

A company’s social media platforms, website copy, and employees help define its voice. The voice is what gives a brand personality. Companies with relevant and defined voices seem to come off as “human,” inviting outsiders to interact and engage. Showcasing your employees’ quirks, stories, and personalities make brands more understandable. For example, I’m sure we can all relate to a common situation:

“I put in my headphones as I sat in a crowded conference room, opened up Apple Music, and double clicked Taylor Swift’s 1989. I noticed others looking at me, then laughing. Then I realized I never plugged the headphones in the computer.” Brian Onorio, president and CEO of O3 Creative, said.

Creating a culture where the CEO happily, fearlessly if you will, jams out to T-Swift is what it’s all about; that’s a place where employees love to work and others want to be. A better workplace = happier employees. Happier employees = loyal employees. Loyal employees will work harder and stick around for the long haul, saving the company time, money, and plenty of headaches. The math adds up. Word to Einstein.

What’s the best or worst experience you’ve ever had with company culture? Chat with us about your experiences during our weekly culture video podcast on Blab, every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. EST. Talking about the culture – who has a say, why it’s important, how to shape it – will build a framework for how it is constructed for us and for future generations.

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Walk West

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