I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between company culture and performance. Once I took a closer look at many advertising agencies, it became clear that their cultures were not always enhancing performance. While many companies in our industry have mastered the smaller “perks” of corporate culture, a foundation of empathy and positivity are usually lacking. The impact of culture on every aspect of a business cannot be overstated. Through creating two agencies built on human understanding, I’ve learned the true value of positive culture. Let’s talk about a few ways it can impact employee performance.
Prioritize Life Outside the Office. In the modern workplace, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is difficult. A 2018 Gallup study of over 7,000 full-time employees found that two-thirds experience job burnout on a regular basis. Increased rates of chronic work-related stress contribute to a myriad of health problems for employees and higher turnover rates for companies, both of which profoundly affect a business’s productivity.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, creating a culture that prioritizes life (kid’s sporting events, longer vacations, flexible work schedules and locations) has been shown to actually increase productivity. At Fingerpaint, we offer month-long sabbaticals after five years of service. We automatically give employees their birthdays off, and are always offering perks like concert and sporting event tickets to reward them for their hard work. We even invested in a ski condo in Vermont that is available for our employees and their families to enjoy year-round. And in 2020, we are embarking on a flexible vacation policy – meaning employees aren’t limited to a certain number of vacation days when they need time to step back and get reenergized.
When employees are given a safe space to relax and recharge, you can avoid widespread burnout, improve morale, and nurture an engaged workforce. Investment for Investment. If employees feel that their employer doesn’t care about them, chances are they won’t care about the success of the company. People are hands down your most important assets.
At Fingerpaint, we invest in our employees to make sure they know how valuable they are to us. We cover 100% of healthcare premiums for every employee. We offer loan repayment programs to assist those with student loan debt. Our 401K plan matches 100% up to 3% of an employee’s income, and next year, we’re raising that match to 4%. We’re also vesting all Fingerpaint 401k contributions immediately, versus making employees wait years and years for that to happen.
The point is, the more you invest in improving your employees’ lives, the more they will put back into your company. When it comes to people, you will get what you give.
Treat Employees Better Than Clients. Agencies often bend over backwards during the pitching process to impress a client. While this might help win business, the way your team treats clients is what will retain accounts. Here’s a secret I’ve learned during my time in the industry﹘ the better you treat your employees, the better they will treat your clients.
Prioritizing the needs of your workforce over all else is just another way to show that you care. Now, don’t get me wrong, you should still give your clients the VIP treatment, but when you put your employees first, they will put more into their work and give clients the same respect they are shown.