A Good Culture: More Than Your Company’s Perks
When friends discover that I work for a long-lived digital experience agency, the universal response is, “I bet you have a cool culture.” And, of course, they’re right. Our refrigerator is stashed with craft brews; our team members are working at their state-of-the-art stand-up desks or swinging from hammock chairs; the walls are adorned with local graffiti artists’ tours de force; and team building consists of hackathons, esoteric board games, and ax-wielding. In the days when Silicon Valley excesses are forever amplified in the media, it’s no surprise that our reputation precedes us. So, yes: we do have a very cool culture.
Whether in interviews, completing awards applications, or speaking to a potential new team member, I’m repeatedly questioned to define this culture. What they are actually asking for is the litany of our cool perks. And let’s be frank: It’s exhilarating to boast about the freebies, fun, and frolic! But it’s also important to not confuse perks with culture. A company’s culture is more than the swanky swag bag or the free-for-all event. Good company culture is cemented in its core values and its perks are simply the byproduct.
To really discover if a company’s culture is the right fit for you, look into more than just the perks they offer. Read the company’s core values to see just exactly how the company lives up to them. A value statement provides direct insight into the company’s beliefs, attitudes, and how it functions. If these values align with your own values, the company is most likely somewhere you can be happy and successful.
Let’s take a look at our values: Client-Focused, Healthy, Accountable, Results-Driven, Growth-Obsessed, and Excellence. These values fuel our creativity, ideas, collaboration, and, yes, even our perks! Taking CHARGE (the acronym that sums up our values), is the impetus behind our incredibly cool culture.
We build relationships that last because we view our clients as true partners. When a leading research company completed a wave analysis, our clients presented us with an unprecedented perfect recommendation score. With our leadership boasting over 407 collective years of resume-building, our team members’ 11+ years experience average, and an over 92 percent retention rate, clients are guaranteed high-quality, accomplished, and dependable teams year after year.
Being client-focused not only pleases our clients, but our team members also reap the benefits of deep-rooted relationships and friendships with coworkers, working beside the industry’s best long-term, and being presented with repeated opportunities to develop (and define) innovative digital products for some of the world’s biggest brands.
We never work alone or in isolated silos. Our collaborative working style depends on strong teamwork. It’s about respect, empathy, dependability, inclusivity, and civility, but also about wellness, care, and a sense of community within and beyond our borders.
When we focus on “healthy,” we can boast nutritious (and delicious) free sips and eats, take-what-you-need vacation to recharge batteries, in-house massage days, philanthropic-driven activities, wellness clubs and outings, state-of-the-art collaboration centers and meeting spaces, ergonomic work equipment, and out-of-sight shindigs! But we can also celebrate strong, diverse, and well-oiled project teams that work in sync to strategize, ideate, create, and deliver some of the world’s most original digital products. We’re the type of people you want by your side day after day, year after year, playing, working, and creating together.
We deliver on our commitments and are transparent about our progress. This means team members seek guidance, are hungry to contribute, tackle hurdles head-on, and raise hands to identify potential risks well in advance.
As a result, our culture is one of open-door communication, encourages recurring one-on-one meetings to discuss progress and goals, offers leadership building and within-the-walls promotion, collects (and acts on!) weekly pulse checks and wellness surveys, and provides a matrixed arsenal of seasoned practice leads, career coaches, and mentors at a beckoned call. True accountability is when team members are speaking at 360° to align priorities, lend a helping hand, and push goals over the line.
Our team members work on the right things with urgency, adaptability, and measured outcomes. This is not only part of our DNA, it’s part of the expectations we set with our clients — a promise to act with concentrated effort, take initiative quickly, and own it, resulting in the delivery of complete and innovative solutions time and again.
The drive to deliver has prompted us to develop Agile and nimble processes, eliminate any bureaucratic red-tape that can slow us down, use analytics drivers to stay on track, and simply focus on operating excellence. When we collectively have our eyes on the final outcome — the ultimate result — we’re better able to measure our progress along the way (are we hitting our targets?) and achieve success.
We only hire team members who display intellectual curiosity and strive to learn, develop, improve, and share. We’re not interested in clock-punchers or people who aren’t invigorated by what they do.
Because of this, our halls are filled with thought leaders. We are not only able to boast a renowned training program and some of the best speakers in the industry, we also offer in-house support for skills education, certifications, and conference opportunities; sponsor biannual, all-company hackathons; host numerous networking events; and our calendar is peppered with team member-initiated book clubs, task forces, round tables, and lunch & learn sessions.
Finally, our team members aim for high standards, never settle for mediocrity, and strive to be the crown jewel of the industry.
When we speak in terms of excellence, we often point to the digital products we have successfully created and launched. But I argue that excellence is bigger than our portfolio — it’s also a recognition for a job well done and celebrated by offering some of the world’s best and most comprehensive health and wellness programs, competitive salaries, and targeted all-company bonuses.
Living up to Our Core Values
The next time you want to know if a company’s culture is the right culture for you, don’t ask about the perks: Read the company’s core values. By clearly defining (and living by) CHARGE, Bounteous has a noticeably cool culture that is cemented in a commitment to our core values. And its greatest perk of all? Recognizing that our teams — the people we work alongside each day — are arguably the best people to work with!