As a marketing manager in an agency environment, throughout my career I have worked with hundreds of businesses who put their culture at the heart of their strategies to differentiate themselves. Do people actually care about work culture, and does it really matter? I certainly think it does. A happy team is undoubtedly a more productive one.
Prior to joining the team last month, I worked as a partner with Distinctly for around seven years on various projects (with many of the same team members who are now my colleagues). During that time I collaborated with the same people, knew how they operated and what to expect. Two things stood out – their values and their people were constant. In a digital agency culture, this is pretty rare.
When the opportunity to join the Distinctly team came up, I already knew I was joining a highly-skilled group of specialists. I was, however, less familiar with their culture, how they successfully live their values and work in a way that creates a very special environment.
I knew that I would spend my first couple of days going through an induction process, but wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. What I didn’t bank on was a book to read, The Growth Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck, a leading psychologist on human motivation. I am familiar with this theory from my child’s school but hadn’t given it much thought for how it might apply to me in a work environment. A few pages in and I was hooked. I think outside of a company handbook, this is the first book I have received from work (and indeed the most interesting)!
In my first few days, as part of my induction, I was given presentations by different team members, so that I could quickly establish an understanding of the business. This has been incredibly insightful in terms of how the agency operates and also very useful in learning everyone’s names and how the teams work together. At the end of my first full week, a birthday card popped through my letterbox with some lovely messages from my new teammates, which was a lovely touch.
The result of this process?
I have settled into my new role quickly and feel at home with the team I am now part of, and I am clear about the collective goals we are striving to achieve. The most crucial part is knowing how I can contribute to this ambitious brand. So yes, work culture is incredibly important, but the real art is putting all those values and behaviours into practice and in this regard Distinctly are doing a great job.