Growing advertising agencies, tech companies, and startups build and maintain great talent by creating a company culture that entices and engages the best employees. If you’re a forward-thinking creative marketing agency, employees may enjoy a relaxed dress code and flexible hours. Tech savvy millennials may enjoy the freedom to work remotely, collaborate in a communal space, and spend time exploring their professional passions. Giving team members individual attention and shifting policies and procedures to sustain your culture is easy when there are only a handful of passionate, dedicated employees to please. But what happens when your company begins to grow? As we’ve flexed and adapted to our growing company size, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks to keep the culture alive along the way. Here are our top three recommendations on how to stay true to your roots while growing.
1. Understand what values your brand embodies:
As your company grows, take time to step back and evaluate the type of values your organization embraces most naturally. Growing advertising agencies often put a premium on creativity and results; but push this notion farther. What inspires your employees? What types of clients do you gravitate toward? Whether your ideals center around collaboration, pushing boundaries, helping others, or flexibility, knowing what your company represents at its core will help you craft policies around those ideals to sustain the culture that attracted your first employees.
2. Put policies in place that make your company culture a procedure:
Once you clearly understand your organizational values, you can begin putting policies in place that protect your culture. Ensure these policies are enforceable and measurable (i.e., employees can spend 10% of their time on their creative portfolios). It’s also crucial that your employees have the authority to act on these policies across the board. For example, if your culture embraces a flat decision structure, team members at all levels of the organization need to be able to make changes within their sphere of influence.
3. Know the market:
Lastly, pressure test the policies you’ve put in place against the market. Although your company culture may be unique to you, other growing advertising agencies or startups may share similar values. Consider how they foster a positive culture, even if it isn’t identical to the environment you’re trying to create. Understanding how other companies are treating their employees will help you understand what your top talent is looking for in terms of culture, benefits, compensation, and lifestyle. This will help you protect and retain talent, as well as encourage longer tenure within your organization that will strengthen and build on the culture that already exists.
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