Keeping employees engaged and happy is the key to success for any agency. One of the best ways to keep employees engaged is by fostering a winning agency culture which will encourage growth, foster creativity, and build teamwork among your employees.
Why is culture important for your agency?
Agency culture is essential because it dictates how your employees are treated, what clients can expect from you, how you handle conflicts, what employees can expect from management and peers, and what workplace relationships look like. Your culture tells prospective employees and clients about how your agency operates.
The culture of any workplace impacts everything from employee satisfaction to workplace performance. Your company culture is almost like your agency's personality, and you can use a culture strategy to help you define what you want that to look like.
Top Management Challenges that can Undermine Agency Culture
Building a positive agency culture can be challenging. Even if you have a winning agency culture, changes within your company can challenge that culture. Being aware of challenges can help you address them as they arise before your office culture strategy is affected.
Hiring new talent
Your established agency culture can be undermined when you bring the new talent. Employees from different employment backgrounds or an agency with a different culture from yours can threaten your company's smooth operation. While they probably aren't undermining your agency culture on purpose, they may be used to a completely different culture and have difficulty adapting.
An engaged employee is also a happy, productive, innovative employee. They're also less likely to look for a new job! But encouraging employees to become engaged isn't a simple task. Doing incorrectly can push employees to become even less involved and negatively impact your agency culture.
Retaining Existing Talent
Growing companies often prioritize locating and winning new talent to join their team. And while new talent is essential, your existing employees are already integrated into your agency culture. Failure to retain existing talent can leave knowledge gaps within your agency, both regarding your agency processes and within your agency culture.
Building a Winning Agency Culture
Agency culture isn't something that happens organically. Your ideal team culture is something that must be planned and cultivated. As you're thinking about the culture you'd like your agency to have, here are a few key areas to focus on.
Better Communication and Collaboration
Even as connected as our society has become, miscommunication still happens. When creating your agency culture, think about the best communication channels for your team members. This may mean inviting your team to use productivity software so everyone can see what others are working on. You may also consider using a tool such as Asana or Slack to assign tasks and facilitate work-related discussions to keep everyone in the loop.
Foster Creativity and Innovation
A positive agency culture encourages creativity and innovation. Don't be an agency that would instead stick with the status quo, keeping "the way we've always done it" even when it no longer works for your agency. This discourages creativity, stifles innovation, and ultimately damages your culture. Foster creativity by having an open mind, encouraging new ideas, allowing employees in all positions to innovate, and rewarding successful new ideas.
Positive workplace relationships keep employees engaged, foster a sense of belonging, and even reduce employee turnover. You can encourage these types of relationships by doing team-building activities regularly. You can also create bonding through shared experiences, such as providing a well-stocked snack cupboard and a cozy area for chatting during breaks, implementing traditions like Taco Tuesday, or organizing volunteer activities.
Offer financial incentives
The shortest way to an employee's heart is through their wallet. Employees who feel appreciated will be less likely to look for a new position, and part of enjoying your employees is letting them reap the rewards of their work. To create a positive agency culture, regularly offer feedback and reward a job well done with an increased salary and/or bonuses. As your company grows, stock options are another great way to reward employees and allow them to benefit from your company's growth.
If you're short on cash, you can still show your employees you appreciate them in other ways. However, financial incentives are still significant, so don't neglect to offer those types of incentives when you're able.
Write down goals for your agency culture
Your culture guides how you interact with employees, how they interact with each other, and how everyone interacts with clients. As you continue developing your agency culture, writing down your goals and expectations ensures everyone is on the same page. Both current and future employees will benefit from having well-defined expectations and knowing exactly how to act and what to expect.
Make sure you don't write them down and file them away to say you've done it. Your culture is uniquely yours, and everyone from new hires to the top management should participate in it and adhere to its principles.
Taking steps to create an organizational culture that fosters creativity, encourages closeness, and ensures the best workplace environment will keep your employees engaged, happy and productive. You can help preserve your culture by having a written guide outlining your culture. Written guidelines help new employees avoid culture shock, and recording these also helps establish culture guidelines which can sometimes be undefined.