The most successful companies are those with the strongest sense of cultural identity within their organization. A sense of belongingness, fulfillment, strengths building, and career growth are mostly what organizations strive for. The better company culture you have, the happier your employees will be — theoretically.
But how true is this? In an advertising agency setting, the dynamics gravely changed when work from home (WFH) suddenly had to happen: creatives in front of their computers in an isolated space at home, strategists talking non-stop on screen in a corner of their house, deals getting closed after an extended 6 months of negotiation due to lack of face-to-face interaction and so on, inspiration hardly hitting anyone as anxiety arises. IT WAS CHALLENGING.
As we are an ever-growing agency that continuously drives improvement and growth (yeah we kinda move like a start-up so it’s super exciting always), culture building is one of our MAJOR priorities. Stepping back to pre-covid era, our amazing HR team would throw in regular fun activities at work: free taho on Mondays, beer buffet on Fridays, monthly office mixers with unlimited Barik, and the slightest excuse to have a thematic party: Labor Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Rainy Szn Kick off, Halloween, and so on and so forth. Aside from all the fun, it was so easy to pull a team member to a corner to give super specific instructions, so easy to align with clients on many aspects of a campaign. Appraisals too happen on an annual basis allowing elbow room for improvement of everyone. And then the pandemic happened.
All of a sudden, we all woke up to a new world of uncertainty and that working culture-building formula started to get challenged — immensely. Now that it’s all work from home, burn out rates are higher, many boundaries are being crossed, and work is just on and on.
In our teams however, we do our best to respect team members’ boundaries. We allow breathing pockets for everyone, and we continue encouraging work and life balance. When WFH became the norm, we started implementing a strengths-based approach in culture building wherein our HR comprehends the personality of each team member and how s/he can contribute to the team’s success and how the team can continuously motivate him/her. We encourage high consistency and efficiency in our work ethics. We celebrate the smallest of wins too, reminding everyone that their efforts go a long way.
It is indeed a challenging landscape today, the realm of hiring and onboarding new team members. But MCI will never get tired of giving young talents a chance to shine, allowing promising fishes to be thrown into the water, and see them all grow in this ever-exciting and dynamic world of advertising.