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How to Build a Good Company Culture

3 min read
Product Marketer at Hike

A positive workplace helps with recruitment, retention, and business results

Many factors influence a person’s decision to work at a creative agency – commute time, the company’s reputation, the type of assignments they’ll take on every day. But perhaps the most attractive feature of any workplace is its culture, which is more important than ever.

A healthy, welcoming culture serves as the ultimate marketing tool, but a negative, demanding culture can impact the company in a multitude of ways. During a February panel at Twitter’s UK headquarters, The Decision Practice founder John Owen shared that 51% of all UK employees feel some degree of burnout or exhaustion. Their struggles are the result of an unforgiving culture that leaves them too tired to contribute meaningfully or achieve their goals.

On the other hand, when the culture is good, the team and the business benefit greatly. As an example, look to Innocent Drinks. The company has a fun mission – they create delicious drinks for kids without additives. Their corporate office reflects this playfulness; it’s essentially a giant playground with games, a big slide, and open spaces for employees to relax. The result of their approach? 92% of past employees would recommend the company to a friend, and 100% of employees approve of the CEO. Furthermore, Innocent Drinks is a powerful brand, with more than £350 million in annual sales.

Of course, it takes more than games to create an effective culture. But Innocent Drinks’ success shows that when a creative company invests time and effort in the employee experience, it pays dividends.

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Benefits of building a strong company culture

When your company culture is both well-defined and encouraging, there are several benefits:

  • Employee loyalty: An enjoyable workplace encourages team members to stick around longer and makes it easier to recruit top talent.
  • Employee satisfaction: The happier your employees, the higher their work performance, which translates to strong business results.
  • Better morale: A good company culture produces less stress for employees, which leads to an all-around positive atmosphere.
  • Improved mental health: If your workplace takes steps to support individual mental health, your staff feels more comfortable asking for help. They won’t push themselves to extremes, and they’ll have the time and space they need for rejuvenation.

So, how do you build a winning culture?

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Building company culture

Before you can build a good company culture, you must first define it. What are your values? Think about your creative niche and business goals and build out your values around those points. For example, if you’re a creative studio that needs several team members for each project, you could focus on collaboration in your values. Likewise, if your business is geared more toward consulting, you could advocate for individual expertise. What’s most important here is that you’re clear about what you stand for, and you know how you want workers to feel about your agency, your leadership, and the ways they contribute to the company mission.

Then, make sure you prioritise mental health. This begins by simply starting the conversation. Let employees know that it’s okay to discuss their mental health needs and concerns. Create an internal team to examine the mental health challenges that are unique to your business. Afterward, use those findings to better support mental health through your policies (e.g., giving each employee an allotment of mental health days).

Lastly, make it fun. Perks are a great way to build your culture. There’s no shortage of options to choose from, but some popular incentives include:

  • Regular remote work options (e.g., working from home 1 day every week)
  • Half-days (e.g., Summer Fridays)
  • Off-site team events or company-sponsored team building trips
  • Bonuses
  • Discounts on local services or products
  • Volunteer opportunities for the entire team to give back together
  • Free development programs and courses
  • Gym memberships or on-site fitness facilities

Once you’ve defined your culture, you’ll know the right perks for your workplace. What matters most is that you not only make your culture fun but that you also provide balance and give employees the resources they need to succeed in and out of work. When you have a strong company culture, you’ll advocate for your team and they’ll advocate for you.

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