4 simple ways to create a strong company culture that works

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“Culture is everything. Culture and your people trump marketing, sales and everything else.” -Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author and marketer

Your company culture is the way your team interacts with one another and clients.  A company’s culture matches the company’s existing vision for the company, which is why your company’s office culture is so significant. It’s a clear representation of your brand and it has a direct effect on the success of a company.

 

At New Media Sources, we’ve created a company culture that:

  1. Is directly based off of our core values.
  2. Can be described as both unconventional and efficient.
  3. Has helped us build a company with an incredibly low turnover rate and an ever expanding yearly sales revenue.

How is this possible? Well, it all starts with a killer recruitment team.

1. Develop a well-rounded team

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A strong company culture isn’t formed out of thin air. Whether it takes place in a board room, your office or a local coffee shop, creating a strong company culture begins at the recruitment stage.

Led by our marketing director and CEO, our recruitment team puts a lot of time and effort into finding the right individuals to join our company. They consider skill, experience and personality.  

We used to be a small group of colleagues, comprised mostly of web developers and coders. Now, we have different positions for SEO, sales, copy, design, photography, user interface and content.

While our recruitment team has a particular skill set in mind when looking for a new hire, they also take personality into account. Does it feel like this person will mesh well with the rest of the team? Do they have similar goals and values as us? How will they respond to day-to-day office life? They consider all of these factors when deciding on a new person to add to the team.

Your office is basically your home away from home. Compatibility amongst coworkers whom you’re spending 40 plus hours a week with is crucial in order to maintain a strong company culture. How can a company possibly succeed if its team has opposing views on company goals and values?

We’ve saved ourselves a lot of time and grief over the years by simply including personality as a factor in the hiring process. 

 

Having a well-rounded team in terms of personality and skill has also helped us significantly grow our business. Thanks to a killer sales department (who continue to bring awesome new clients to our doorstep) we’ve been able to continuously expand our team.

As a result, we’re able to provide clients with exactly what they want all under one roof- we offer a list of the most important marketing services exclusively in-house. Our ability to keep up with this supply and demand has helped increase our yearly revenue by 536% in the last two years.

2. Trust your employees

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At New Media Sources, we have a very open and trusting work environment. Our office is always buzzing, not just with work but with humour and friendship.

We believe that the best (and most efficient) work environment is one where we can be ourselves and not be restrained by convention. We always meet deadlines and ensure client happiness but we also strongly encourage our staff to set schedules that work for them. This attitude directly ties in with one of our core values,  “Enjoy what you do and spread the energy.”

“It’s all about trust,” says Kevin Haluk, CEO of New Media Sources. “It’s a given that we trust the people we hire. And I acknowledge the fact that it’s nice to break up what could sometimes be a monotonous work week by working from a different environment.

“I think you can make the argument that you can actually be more productive outside of the office. Think about all the noise and interruptions you experience every day at work. I think it’s necessary at times to be with your team, but nowadays, there is technology to stay connected.

“I support my team working from wherever they think is the most productive to them.”

“A strong workplace culture makes it easier for an organization to stay focused, define its goals and deliver on those goals.”

– Greg Besner, Founder and CEO of CultureIQ

The standard 9-to-5 work day isn’t efficient for everyone and in fact, it has never been proven to be the most productive work time anyway.

You can blame the 9-to-5 rule on Henry Ford, who first implemented the 8 hour work day over 100 years ago at his Ford Motors Company.

Yes, it was a huge cut back from the 14 hour work days previous factory workers had been subject to during the Industrial Revolution, but the 9 to 5 eight hour standard was simply that- a standard that for some reason is still considered the only acceptable work time frame a century later.

By allowing our staff to choose their own work environment and pace (with deadlines and communication platforms set up appropriately in advance of course), we’ve noticed happier staff and an increase in both work performance and work quality overall.

3. Show respect, get respect

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Let’s admit it, we’ve all worked in an office at one time or another where openness was promoted but rarely welcomed.  And when innovation is encouraged but shut down just as fast, an employee is bound to feel unappreciated, disrespected and uninspired- all things a company does not want to see in their employees.

Unfortunately, so often you hear about friends and family who experience this very problem at their place of work. Their superiors tell them to share their thoughts and ideas but when someone actually dares to speak up, they’re immediately shut down.

For us at New Media Sources, the word company really translates into team. We couldn’t do what we do if we didn’t have the entire team working as one unit.

We openly share ongoing projects with each other and ask for each other’s opinions and suggestions. We acknowledge the fact that two heads are better than one.

“Our clients are everything to us. I love all of them and if my colleagues have any suggestions which would help our clients do better in the long run, I am for it,” says Puya Turkiyan, Marketing Director at New Media Sources. “Every suggestion, every thought and every person who works for us is my equal. They eat with me, they work with me and deserve to be heard.

“By letting my colleagues feel comfortable and free around me, I can ensure success for all of our clients. The work speaks for itself. And I didn’t have to micromanage anything. How can you beat that?”

Everyone’s opinion matters, no matter if you’re the CEO or a new hire.

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We owe a big part of our company’s success to a management team that has created a company culture that allows its employees to breathe.  A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology reiterates our belief that micromanagement and distrust is bad for a company, by revealing that people who believe they are being watched perform at a lower level than others.

Our marketing director is always there to manage and step in if need be but micromanaging is something you will never see Turkiyan do.

“Why do I not want to control every little task my colleagues work on?” asks Turkiyan. “Because I’ve trusted my colleagues from the very first day they started. I gave them the tools they needed to succeed. I’ve made sure they are comfortable enough to not only disagree with me, but also feel comfortable asking for help. Far too many managers freak out when employees ask for help. I am not here to watch what my colleagues do. I am here to help them grow into successful professionals.”

Give your staff breathing room. Let each team member know you hired them because you believe them to be the smartest person for their position and for that reason alone, you trust them to do their job independently.

Take a step back and watch work productivity rise. The great work will follow shortly, we promise.

4. Allow room for growth

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Professional development is just as an important part of our company culture and vision as trust, respect and flexibility.  It’s a huge factor millennials consider when accepting a new position, and something that needs to be considered when wanting to building a successful company.

Educated employees at the forefront of the latest industry trends and innovations can only improve a company’s success and it goes hand-in-hand with creating a work environment where staff feel appreciated, inspired and encouraged to think beyond the company’s bottom line.

New Media Sources regularly sends its employees to industry conferences to learn, discuss and bring fresh ideas back to the office. For example, we recently sent our copywriter to the Unbounce Call-To-Action Conference. The entire team is headed to MozCon in September and one of our marketing specialists is being trained in Google AdWords as we speak.

Enrolling staff in online courses is also something New Media Sources invests in. The payout is a more well-rounded, skilled employee and at the end of the day, it’s a win-win for everyone.

“I wanted a very detailed understanding of Google Analytics and the best way to utilize AdWords to help our clients achieve their goals,” says Damir Khamzin, New Media Sources’ Support and Online Marketing Specialist. “When our Marketing Director, Puya, asked me why I hadn’t enrolled yet, I took it as a sign: the company wants me to improve and grow because everyone here knows that we all benefit. I know I’m working at the right place.”

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

 

The above line gets thrown around a lot but there’s something to be said about working at a company that is made up of a team where mutual respect is its common denominator. What we’ve done at New Media Sources is create a team of people that are the best at what they do and who genuinely enjoy coming into work every morning. It’s the snowball effect:

Shared values and goals -> cohesive, hardworking team -> strong company culture -> Increased productivity

We want to know: what does your business do to boost company culture?

Sound off in the comments below!

Natascha Bruhin

Natascha is the lead copywriter at New Media Sources. From developing content strategy to writing ad copy, Natascha provides clients with user-friendly written work that will resonate with readers and increase site traffic, revenue and conversion rate. Prior to New Media Sources, Natascha worked as a television news journalist before moving into the marketing field. Her dream is to live in a world where people understand the difference between “its” and “it’s.”

  • http://www.how2refine.wordpress.com Damir Khamzin

    ;D I’m glad I stumbled upon this gem today. Y’all run one of the best OPM blogs I’ve seen from a smaller agency. KUTGW!