From the day I started NRPR Group, even when I was all by myself as a lone business owner, I knew that company culture was going to be very important to our agency.
I’ve been fortunate to have been part of many companies that had great culture. At Voce Communications, an AWESOME agency I worked at when I was in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, hosted a trip to Lake Tahoe for a weekend for the team. It was like a retreat; we’d play games, get to know each other outside of the office, and build relationships on a more personal level beyond what we all needed from one another at work.
When it came time for me to take the next step in my career and start my own agency, having a great culture was at the top of my list of priorities. Years later and going stronger than ever, I’m glad I did because I have amazing team members whom I love as people, and who I know truly love coming in each day because we’ve made NRPR like a second family.
Here are a few of the top reasons company culture matters (and some ways you can start creating your own):
- Great culture = stronger bonds = more trust amongst your team.
When you provide your team with opportunities to get to know one another outside of the office, it gives them a chance to form relationships and bond over things on a deeper level than just what they need to do at work. It gives everyone a chance to see that we’re all individuals with our own likes, interests, and hobbies. This can really come in handy when, let’s say, maybe a few team members are clashing on something or not seeing eye to eye. Instead of getting defensive and trying to fight for their side of things, employees who have a relationship outside of just that one thing are more likely to compromise, hear each other out, and work together for the benefit of the company.
- When you have great culture, employees love coming to work.
Let’s face it: work can be hard. Really hard. There are long days, your fair share of stress, and walls that we all hit here and there. When you’re in a rough patch it can be easy to dread taking on another day, and that’s where we’ve found our culture to really come in hand. I can honestly tell you that because our team does so much bonding outside of the office, and because we have so many fun and happy memories together, we are stronger as a team when it comes to work. We have each other’s backs and will always help someone make it over their hurdles or bust through that wall. We’re colleagues, yes, but we’re also friends, and we want to see each other succeed. I know that if I’m having a bad day, seeing my awesome team hard at work will motivate me to be my best so we all stay on track. We’re all in this together, and encouraging a tight-knit team will help your ship sail on to success.
3. Great culture allows employees to see one another in new lights.
Last year I surprised my team with day off work and took them to my driving range to do something I love: hit some golf balls, enjoy brunch, and enjoy the beautiful summer day. We may not have all been PGA pros, but that’s okay. We had fun, some of us learned a new skill, and we all laughed through the not so pretty swings.
The idea started off as a team building day where we’d all spend time together outside of work, but what it turned into was a way for me to share something with my team that I love and that I’m passionate about. Work can easily consume the majority of your day, but that doesn’t mean it’s all you do. For me, I’m not just all boss and work and deadlines and emails. I have a life outside of NRPR and being able to share a part of that with my team through gold gave us another avenue to get to know each other and bond even more.
- A focus on culture helps your employees feel important.
At NRPR Group, everyone gets a birthday celebration. We bring you a cake, card, balloons, we power down our laptops and sing, eat, and celebrate! People love to feel like they’re remembered and important. You’re not just a number here; you’re family. We even have a birthday party for NRPR itself, because in our eyes we came together as a company June 2014, and every year we have that much more to celebrate because we’re accomplishing great things together.
Every year I take my team to Disneyland, because it truly is a magical place to me where no matter what else is going on or going wrong, at Disney it’s all good. We don’t think about anything work-wise whatsoever. It’s a complete reset for our team where we meet for breakfast, carpool together, and spend the entire day laughing, riding rides, eating and drinking, and having an amazing time.
These celebrations remind my team that I care about them and that we all care about one another. No matter how busy or hectic things get, I will always make time to celebrate my team and remind them that I care.
Focusing on great culture and keeping these points in mind will help your employees see that their colleagues and bosses are more than people they so happen to work with five days a week. You’ll start to create a family and an environment where people want to come in and learn — where they’re not churning and burning out and quitting. I've been there and have seen it happen at places where there was no culture. It’s not fun, and having seen both the good and the bad, I know what a difference a strong culture can make.
At the end of the day, your team is your number one. Without them, you have no company. So go forth and celebrate your awesome team by making culture a top priority. You’ll be glad you did.
This guest post is courtesy of Nicole Rodrigues, Founder & CEO: NRPR Group.