What Is Company Culture? And Why Is It Important to Your Agency?

What is Company Culture

Job candidates and employees expect more from the companies they work for than just a steady paycheck and health benefits. With top creative talent being so in demand, choosy job seekers often make their final selections based on cultural fit. But what is company culture and why should it be important to your agency?

What is company culture?

Every company has a corporate culture, which includes everything from the hours your employees work and the dress code to the social life of the agency and how teams interact. "How much a boss supports employees is also a critical part of company culture," says Angela Vitzthum, an assistant vice president with The Creative Group. "It's the manager's or leader's job to ensure the company culture is positive and to deal with any issues head on."

Knowing what your agency values, who it serves and what kind of working environment is best to accomplish the team's goals is key to understanding your firm's culture and explaining it to outsiders.

Why is company culture important to an agency?

"Corporate culture is important in the industry right now because candidates are so in demand," Vitzthum says. "The work environment is a way to draw and retain talent. The best people often have multiple job offers, so they're going to closely evaluate the company culture of each firm they approach to determine what's right for them."

Agency hours can be long at times, and having a company culture that is supportive and conducive to creating great work is essential. Company culture "gives a first impression when you're trying to hire someone, but it also plays a big part in the happiness of the people who work there," says Steve Taylor of The Great Agency Adventure, a copywriter who worked at different advertising agencies a month at a time and reporting on his experience. Team members who are happy and on the same page will be more productive when it's crunch time.

Is your company culture authentic?

You can't create company culture simply by setting up a Ping-Pong table and loading up the refrigerator with refreshments. "At some agencies, they put on a persona of fun, but you realize it's all for show when you go in," Taylor says. "Check for dust on that Ping-Pong table. Is it actually being used? People can act like it's a blast, trying to show clients it's a fun place to be – but if they're actually all working 12-hour days, no one is using it."

So what is company culture? In a nutshell, it's how the company translates its mission to the day-to-day work environment. If you want to recruit top candidates today, you need to make sure your company culture is an appealing one.

Related post: Changing Jobs: How to Acclimate to a New Agency Environment