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How to add life to the meaning ‘company culture’

A quick 15-min massage for staff at bka Interactive

One of the business philosophies I truly embrace is that of having a great company culture. For a digital agency like ours, it has proven to be a powerful driver of business success.

Here’s one underlying principle to live by: Get your cultural values right and then make sure everything you do and every decision you make in your company has your cultural values at heart – every hire, every voicemail message, every email, every blog and every tweet.

At bka Interactive, we are completely engrossed in living our company culture. Here are some of the things we do which has contributed to our fun workplace, and success.

Bring fun in to the office

Involve everyone in work fun. One of bka Interactive’s most successful products evolved from a fun office culture project. For years the company had a sports picking app called Go Team which it used internally to create healthy competition. Prizes – from fancy dinners out to lemons – were creatively volunteered by staff players. Now the app has led to some “very cool” opportunities for the business. Go Team is the sports picking app of choice for high profile clients including the All Blacks and NZ Rugby.

bka staff getting into the Pink campaign

Online tools help improve culture

Use social media to shout out about the fantastic things you are doing and to share your company direction and what it stands for. Embrace communication tools – Slack or Sqwiggle are great free apps while TinyPulse helps you mine instant and regular ‘how are we going’ feedback from staff. Begin holding regular innovation meetings – include everyone.

Apps that can improve culture

Use apps that provide clarity on roles and responsibilities and that directly assist in the pursuit of outright excellence. At bka, we love the site program Trello for its simplicity and that it makes task management easy. It’s great for sorting out your stuff at home too!

Weekly specials

We have an event or activity that gets everyone involved. It’s not a company-organised activity but more a staff consensus that drives the weekly specials. Organise a massage therapist to give everyone who wants one a 15 minute massage. Make margaritas on Friday. Dress up, donate to a charity or simply organise a ‘wear your coolest t-shirt’ day. Open, fun and no pressure. And great fodder to share on social media.

What about social media?

Social media engagement is huge. BKA runs weekly morning teas which almost always generate a blog post or a tweet. The company encourages its people to tweet and blog because it connects them and their followers, friends and family to the company. Its philosophy is that name association with a blog encourages doing a good job. The more we can get others involved in our digital space, the better.

Digital tools help manage change

Introducing new tools during a time of change makes the change exciting. Change is growth and you need tools to support growth. An online tool called idonethis.com is like a daily journal where everyone writes about what they did that day – simple, quick and done. Idonethis creates and retains unity during change. Also, check out Sqwiggle mentioned above for staying connected with co-workers.

Everything in moderation

We are a big fan of online tools but be careful not to clutter the work environment with digital debris. We are constantly looking great digital tools to promote our culture of support, excellence and bravery and we make use of heaps. But it could be time to consolidate and de-clutter our suite of tools…. ‘there is no end to self-improvement.”

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