about 4 years ago by Jenny Woods

Building an internal culture

Antenna 503044 Unsplash

In my role, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the countries’ best advertising and digital agencies; their diverse client list and varied office personalities makes them, for some the ultimate place to work. I’ve often found companies operating outside the Agency/Marketing/Digital sector sometimes try too replicate the agency culture and almost ‘force the fun’ onto their employees as they feel this is the best way to achieve employee engagement. A feeling of cultural engagement and ultimately cultural success is something, which has to be developed internally cannot be unnaturally forced upon your team. With that being said I’m here to tell you why it’s not all about pool tables and beanbags when it comes to creating a successful culture and inspiring your team.

Encourage Engagement and Collaborative Working:

Of course office space usually factors into how far you can go with a ‘breakout’ style area, unfortunately sometimes it’s not practical, especially in more corporate workplaces as the space is often needed for a meeting room, etc.

What is important though is to at least have a space or system where employees can channel ideas and feedback. At minimum have some kind of ‘suggestions box’, but be creative. Consider a thought wall or a brainstorming board to get people’s thoughts/feedback in a visual way

The ability to adapt is essential also, what might have once worked with certain employees may change as fresh faces join the business.

Maximise involvement

Employee engagement is only as effective as the employees who actually engage with your brand and internal culture. Encourage your employees to see their job as more than just a job. Get them to own their ideas and bring them to life. Build a collaborative; trusting environment and your team will bring ideas to the table. If it’s their idea, put them in charge of it. If an employee wants to learn something new, provide the support for them. You should identify at interview stage candidates who are going to further your own culture, rather than just cash the paycheck.

Incentivise, with their ideas

KPIs and targets and ROI often become the ‘be all and end all’ in the office and hammering the numbers can spawn negativity in environments, which thrive off team unity, It’s natural for people to want to work on something bigger than themselves elaborate. If group targets are agreed which encompass the whole company, the contributors are more likely to drive towards it. When it comes to rewards from the fruits of labour. We at Adam have created a ‘fun committee’ or similar to agree on what’s going to motivate the team the most. This is far more effective than picking quarterly rewards yourself as more often than not, it will disinterest and diversify the workforce. Make these team meetings compulsory, in order to avoid the usual suspects leading all the time. Once you’ve agreed targets and rewards, creatively display them to become a talking port for them team on a daily basis. Make it senior members job to maintain the momentum.

‘Big’ companies who really nail incentives are places like ASANA. The Silicon Valley startup runs by re-imagining how teams get things done, Along with the usual health, dental and vision insurance, Asana offers employees in-house yoga group sessions twice a week that are open to all employees plus one friend, organic lunch and dinner served every day customized to each employee’s diet preferences and up to $10,000 for each employee to construct their perfect workspaces.

There’s no need to go that wild with it, but internal culture and values are incredibly important to the success of any company at any point in their journey. It reminds you what you’re working for creates and maintains team energy, which is the quintessential of any successful brand.