What makes a ‘good’ workplace culture? For us, we’re focused on cultivating a professional and productive, yet supportive and fun environment that allows people to thrive.
Will Cheng, Operations Director at Circus PPC, spoke about the importance of fostering a healthy and positive workplace culture, and why effective communication is a huge part of being able to do so.
Hey Will! Let’s get right into it. How has communication changed in the agency since it was founded back in 2009?
Hey! Sure. So, because the agency was founded almost 14(!) years ago, communication was hugely different and over the past few years especially, we’ve had to learn to adapt to a new way of working and communicating effectively. It’s not been easy, but we’ve made it work, and the team is stronger than ever before.
Now that you’ve mentioned the pandemic, what effect has hybrid/remote work had on the agency?
Flexible working as a result of COVID, again, was initially hard to adapt to, but people like working this way and we want to be an agency that people enjoy working for. Regardless of the pandemic, working more flexibly means that people are more likely and able to work in a way that best suits them – for me personally, I get a lot done in the evenings, so having that freedom is really beneficial.
Of course, there’s no ‘perfect’ way of working, so there have been challenges along the way, and we accept that we’ll constantly be adapting to new ways of working.
How hard has it been to maintain a close-knit culture now that flexible working is in play?
Of course, it hasn’t been easy, but again – the willingness to adapt has become crucial in the way we navigate these kinds of circumstances.
We’re aware that working from home can also become quite lonely, so we remain aware of it, check in with people regularly, work with people and support them in a way that is beneficial and needed in order for them to thrive.
Having a day with every single person in the office is rare, but we make it a priority to organise team social events to bring everyone together on a monthly basis. Recently, we had our annual summer party, and spent a couple of days as a whole team, which was really valuable and ensured that everyone got a chance to talk and engage with, well, everyone. We’re not just about work, and the social culture of the agency plays a huge role in how we communicate with one another.
Are there any specific tools or technologies in place to aid communication/maintain a strong company culture?
We recently made a big shift in the way we communicate, switching from multiple communication methods such as Skype and Slack, to Teams, which offers and encompasses everything we need from an internal communication platform. Due to it being so fresh, we’ve not nailed down everything yet, but we are already seeing the benefits of a platform that is easy to navigate, and means that we don’t have to go searching across multiple platforms for what we need.
How do you manage communication with remote workers?
We’ve learnt that it’s all about knowing how to communicate with individuals, rather than having a set ‘type’ of communication across the board.
Because of the workplace culture we’ve created, we understand the way that different team members communicate, so we are aware when we might need to check in with some people if we haven’t spoken to them much that day, or with people that don’t need as much or are more comfortable working independently, we can give more breathing space before checking in.
It’s important to note that we’ve also tried to create very honest and open communication channels in order to make people feel comfortable reaching out and letting us know when they might need more, or even require less communication.
Obviously, there are still policies and guidelines in place, but we understand that different people need different levels of communication, so try to make the way we communicate more flexible for the individual.
Thanks for chatting Will! Any final thoughts to leave us with?
Yeah, I think the last thing to say is that we really champion transparency within the agency.
We try to be as transparent as possible to ensure the team feel involved and included in what’s going on within the agency – after all, how can we expect the team to be transparent if we’re not leading by example?
Having the best ideas and suggestions come through no matter what is really important to us, and if the team know exactly what’s going on, they are more able to share the ideas that could help find solutions to a problem, or improve in an area where the agency might be struggling.
We’re not the best at everything, and we don’t claim to be, but I believe that as long as we continue our dynamic methods of communication, as well as prioritising time spend collaborating and having fun as a team, we can maintain a great workplace culture that ultimately, makes us all want to come to work!