Every workplace has its own, unique culture, whether a Fortune 500 company or a family-owned bakery. It’s a central part of who a business is, and how others perceive it. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of showing off company culture – and the benefits of fostering a great one.
First Things First: What Is Company Culture?
Company culture is what your employees see and how they experience life within your company and at the office every day.
Simply put, physical and digital culture is integral to running a successful digital marketing agency. It applies to all businesses and their brands, since it impacts your company’s image and how you interact with clients and employees. That’s why showing off your workplace culture entails much more than merely sharing posts on social media.
In short, company culture is central to any business’ personality. But how does it come to be? Company culture is shaped by many factors, like shared traits, beliefs, behaviors and the values of the people that work there every day.
A company’s mission and vision are also vital factors when creating a workplace culture. Other factors influencing company culture include:
- Leadership and management styles
- Employee learning and development approach
- Overall environment
Creating Excellent Company Culture
The great thing about company or agency culture, is that it’s malleable. If it requires work or adjustment, it can always be changed and improved for the better. Revisit the drawing board, review your company culture and determine what you envision it to be. Speak to your team and clients about their perception of your workplace culture to see if it matches your expectations. You can even look to other companies for inspiration when reworking your agency’s company culture.
5 Benefits of Fostering a Healthy Company Culture
Cultivating a positive company culture comes with many perks that trickle down to every key player – from clients to management, to teams and individual employees. It empowers everyone to keep growing both professionally and personally, to function at – and reach – their full potential. When there is excellent company culture at play, you can expect to see a better, happier agency account manager, personal assistant, designer and beyond. A healthy, thriving company culture benefits and empowers everyone involved with the business.
1. Healthy Company Culture Humanizes Your Agency
Today, more than ever before, both clients and employees want to deal with and work for a humane company. Gone are the days of doing business with sterile, unpersonable and faceless entities. These days there’s a desire for something more.
Humanizing a company is all about expressing sincerity and focusing on emotional appeals. You want to infuse your projected image with authenticity and openness, rather than putting up a cold and analytical front. That goes for communications across digital platforms and during in-person interactions as well.
When humanizing an agency for the sake of good company culture, the importance of community management also comes into play. Be sure to put a face – and give a distinct voice – to your brand. You can do so by:
- Introducing employees on social media
- Interacting with clients on online forums
- Sharing user-generated content
2. Healthy Company Culture Attracts the Desired Clients (and Talent!)
A clearly defined company culture makes your business or agency more likely to attract ideal clients and employees. Today’s clients wish to do business with companies offering products and services in an ethical manner. It’s becoming increasingly common for consumers to want to deal with companies that share their values and belief systems.
“For me, how the team performs under pressure is a true testament to the culture we’ve fostered at Mag. Not just in the workplace but also outside of it, and it all starts in the interview process.”
– Eugene Bredenkamp, Head of Studio and Senior Art Director
Clear and consistent workplace culture is also essential to a successful recruitment process. Best of all, it benefits both parties. Employers are likelier to hire employees who will integrate effortlessly into their organization. On the other hand, potential employees get to identify and apply to agencies or companies that strive towards the same ideals as they do. Everyone feels confident and knows what they’re getting into before the onboarding process is finalized.
3. Good Agency Culture Enhances Employee Well-Being
Fact: engaged employees tend to be happier in their professional lives. High engagement leads to high-quality results, and ensures employees feel good about their work and their individual contributions. As a business, it is definitely in your interest to build a great company culture where everyone plays to their strengths by filling roles that align with their interests, or desired areas of growth.
Agency culture and employee well-being also play into resource management. As an employer, you want to ensure that workers enjoy a healthy work-life balance and have the necessary skills and tools to deal with excess stress, enabling them to lead fulfilling and balanced lives. After all, a company is nothing without its employees, and it definitely makes business sense to make employee well-being one of your top priorities.
4. Healthy Company Culture Recognizes All Employees and Contributions
A company that values every employee is one where workers stick around. By decreasing staff turnover rates, your business can minimize recruitment costs and so invest more in your existing workforce. By giving employees the opportunity to grow with your agency, you prove to them that they are valued and that their growth and contentment are a priority for the company.
The saying ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ is popular with good reason. By promoting a caring and collaborative workplace environment, colleagues work harmoniously, regardless of their station or position. They know their input matters, and that makes all the difference.
“I think my favorite part of Mag Culture is how everyone pulls together for the greater good. If a team member is in need, or a client project needs an extra push to get over the finish line, then all the Magnets jump in to help and get it done – often making personal sacrifices in the process.”
– Gerrie van Niekerk, Finance and HR Manager
As a company or agency, you want to celebrate achievements as a united team. This keeps morale high and reinforces that all contributions matter. Failing to recognize workers’ efforts might lead to them seeking greener employment pastures.
5. Positive Agency Culture Breeds a Relationship of Trust
When a company’s culture is based on trust, employees feel proud of their workplace. Proud employees are likelier to share their positive experiences with others, and on social media. Their word of mouth is, in fact, far more valuable than that of any influencer. It’s a powerful testament to your company’s workplace values, and will likely attract more like-minded talent, clients and new business.
How can you build a trust-based digital agency culture?
Start by sharing critical news with employees as soon as possible. This will not only make workers feel valued and included, but as a bonus, it will prevent the spread of workplace rumors. An open-door policy is also extremely beneficial, as this will go a long way toward breaking down the perceived divide between senior and junior staff members. It all goes back to equally valuing everyone’s opinions, impressions and contributions.
Thoughts on the Importance of Company Culture
Although the workforce is responsible for building and maintaining an agency’s culture, certain roleplayers are tasked with envisioning and devising it. At Magnetic Creative’s South African office, these team members are:
- Eugene Bredenkamp, Head of Studio and Senior Art Director
- Gerrie van Niekerk, Finance and HR Manager
For an authoritative perspective on the importance of company culture at MAG – and in general – we asked them to answer a few questions.
Which Values Are, in Your Opinion, Most Significant to Company Culture?
Eugene: To me, trustworthiness, team camaraderie and selflessness stand out.
Gerrie: For a company to show amicableness – having a friendly atmosphere without constant strife.
How Does MAGNETIC’s Company Culture Differ From Other Companies You’ve Worked For?
Eugene: Many agencies speak of the ‘family environment’, but at MAG, it’s genuine. MAGNETIC truly cares for and helps its people. The agency goes above and beyond for its employees – far more than most other companies do.
Employees across the world systematically grow less loyal. However, as the saying goes: people don’t leave their jobs – they leave their bosses. At MAG, the higher-ups invest in their people, and a lack of rigid hierarchy shapes the culture. MAG creates an environment where everyone passes on the established values, and has a personal stake in the agency’s traditions. Both longtime and new workers ensure that the culture keeps thriving.
It’s always the team that wins or loses – not the individual. Everyone feels part of something greater than themselves, which brings a sense of purpose. We all work together towards a True North.
Gerrie: In the past, companies often had a disconnect between management, shareholders and employees. Whereas, at MAG, this very much isn’t the case. Here, there’s a definite culture of care for one another. Everything doesn’t revolve around profit – it’s an employee-first culture.
Aside From MAGNETIC – Are There Other Companies Whose Culture You Admire, and Why?
Eugene: There’re a few companies that I aspire for us at Mag to be like – one of which is Droga5. Their work looks great, as does what they put out about their company culture. I think we have similar values, and they also celebrate their employees. Workers are always front-and-center of their global messaging.
Gerrie: Google is probably the top one. Many people who walk into MAG comment: ‘It’s just like Google!’, so it must be an extraordinary workplace. Patagonia is another company I admire for its sustainable business practices and ethical values.
Meet the MAG team members, like Digital Copywriter, Riana Wiechers, and get to know the faces that make the magic happen. Reach out with queries, to discuss a project, or feel free to ask any questions you may have.