What if you could grow your business tenfold in just a few short years? What aspects of your company might be most important to focus on? When you think about growth, your natural tendency might be to turn to revenue. However, many different aspects of your business change when you grow.
According to the latest data from the United States Small Business Administration profile report, there are approximately 32.5 million small businesses in America. No matter what industry you’re in, you likely have at least a few competitors. Looking at your brand holistically can not only help you grow faster but stronger over time.
What Is Agency Culture?
Agency culture is the distinctive trait of your company as to how they impact employees both at work and home. Your culture is an extension of who you are as a brand and can impact your business’ image with clients, too.
Experts believe culture is one-way brands can make themselves distinct and attract more customers. Good company culture also helps you hire the best employee candidates and keep them.
How can you ensure your agency culture is the best it can be? Here are our favorite things you can do to build your brand from the inside out and grow your business in the process.
How Agency Culture Can Grow Your Business Tenfold
1. Keep Your Best Staff
It’s hard to build an excellent agency culture if employee churn happens frequently. In order to establish positive relationships and common goals, you must spend time with one another and work together on a variety of projects.
Survey your employees to see what entices them to stay. Recent reports show about 50% of employees say they won’t return to jobs not offering remote options. Something as simple as offering a hybrid approach may keep your best workers from fleeing to a competitor.
2. Conduct Culture Interviews
Before you can improve your agency culture, it’s important to understand your current status. Talk to clients and employees about how they see the company culture. It may be vastly different than you think it is.
You should also chat with anyone who has been with the company from the beginning. How has it changed for the better? What has gotten worse? What vision do they have for the brand?
Finally, talk to the CEO and find out their vision for the company. How do they want employees to view them? What’s unique about the brand’s story that sets it apart from others in the same field?
3. Study the Competition
How are your competitors doing? Can you learn from their successes? While you might not know everything about their internal workings, you can read their press releases and company blog and get a bit of insight into their culture.
No matter how they stack up, there are likely a few things they’re doing well. What can you learn from them?
At the same time, look at a company thriving—not necessarily in your field. What programs have they instituted that make them work as a cohesive team? Ask if you can come to observe their company culture. Since you aren’t a competitor, they may be open to mentoring you.
4. Learn to Work as a Team
For your agency culture to truly thrive, your entire company must learn to work together effectively. The best teams understand the company objectives and don’t worry about who gets credit for success.
If you offer recognition for ideas, you’re likely to set your workers up as competitors rather than team players. Instead, reward everyone on a team or company-wide when big goals are met effectively. Even the person who ran and got the notepad and pen had a part to play in the idea generation process.
5. Focus on Strengths
Every employee has both strengths and weaknesses. When you teach your employees to focus on what they’re good at, they’ll excel in those areas. There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve in weak areas, but for the purpose of culture, everyone should complete tasks within the areas they are best at.
Don’t make one particular type of strength more desirable than another. Each person in your employee has something to add to the project. The person good at graphic design can come up with posters and the person who is good with numbers can crunch profit versus loss. No type of task should be seen as having more weight, but simply a part of the whole.
6. Reward Differently
In many companies, employers reward those who bring in new clients or increase revenue. They might reward someone who makes a noticeable difference. Try to think of your rewards differently if you want to build a positive agency culture.
For example, reward the person who goes out of their way to help a fellow co-worker, even on a project they aren’t assigned to. Recognize group efforts with gift cards and free lunches. Let everyone attend a celebration event when a big client signs on.
Understand that while some people might speak up more often or have a more noticeable impact on outcomes that everyone has a part to play. Brands failing to recognize the valuable assets of all their workers may lose those people to another company.
7. Choose the Right Office Design
The way you layout your office can encourage team effort. An open concept works for initiating conversations, but understand some people need a quiet space to brainstorm.
Studies show clutter increases stress and reduces productivity, so get rid of unnecessary things in your workspace. If you want to promote company culture building, make sure you allow space for people to congregate and brainstorm.
You also must place the right departments near one another. For example, if marketing and sales teams work side-by-side, their desk space should be closed.
8. List Meaningful Values
If your number one focus is revenue, you likely won’t find much success. Instead, seek out some meaningful values for your brand. One example is Bombas socks. They have the value of helping those who need warm socks. It permeates all they do and their success has been phenomenal. TOMS shoes are another buy one/give one example thriving even in a difficult economy.
What do you care about as a brand? What matters to your employees? How can they make a difference in the world through their work efforts? When everyone has a higher purpose, it makes them strive harder.
9. Look Outside Your Company
Even though your goal is to improve your agency’s culture, you should also seek input from outside your organization. Bring in experts, team up with a nonprofit or seek a mentor. You can learn from each person you encounter.
Truly unique ideas often come from the most unexpected sources. Don’t be afraid to team up with other brands and even adopt the causes they’re passionate about until you find your own niche.
10. Coach One
If each staff member in your company would coach just one person, imagine how much knowledge would increase. There is always someone new or with a bit less experience to pass wisdom to.
Take the time to reassess where your company culture is every few months. Have things changed for the better? What still needs improvement? If you keep a handle on how your employees feel and things you need to change, you’ll make consistent improvements that will also help your business grow over time.