Happy office awards

While nobody – especially Stormzy – likes a brand that acts too big for their boots, sometimes you need to blow your own trumpet, as nobody else will. So, let us announce loudly and proudly that M2 Bespoke has won the Wylde Happiest Workplace in Bath 2017 award for the second year in a row! Our mega-watt grins have now short-circuited the office with sheer, unadulterated delight.

In all seriousness, the #WyldeHappyOffice award really does mean a lot to us because we pride ourselves on our company culture and in creating an environment where staff feel valued, respected and supported. And it feels pretty darn good to know that someone out there thinks we’re getting it right!

If you’re looking to spruce up your employer branding or wondering why you should even care, here’s what our company culture looks like and why cultivating a winning one could benefit your business. You might even win a cheeky award or two…

What our company culture looks like

If I hear one more marketing company describe its culture as ‘work hard, play hard’ I’ll smash up the office ping pong table. Just kidding – we don’t have one. The reason this phrase gets on my nerves is that in the 25 years I’ve spent working for or running marketing agencies, I’ve found the ‘play hard’ bit invariably gets put on the backburner. Once the pressure of meeting client demands sets in, arriving early/leaving late becomes the norm and suddenly your whole team’s Sunday is ruined due to the knowledge that Monday morning is just around the corner.

Sounds grim, doesn’t it?

When we founded M2 Bespoke, we wanted to create processes which would prevent this sort of thing happening to us.

We resist the temptation to cram everyone’s schedule with more work than they could fit into normal working hours, making sure they have the breathing room to make quality their topmost priority. This is how we can guarantee our team remain on top of their game for our clients, producing their best work and not just churning it out long after their creative juices have run dry.

When it comes to perks, we try to cut straight to the heart of what the modern employee wants: flexible working. With that in mind, we offer all staff the opportunity to work from home once a week and to adjust their starting and finishing times to fit in with their other obligations. We give our employees the autonomy to get their work done without feeling the need to micro-manage – nothing kills creativity (and my good humour) quite as fast.

Adorable office dogs, a team lunch every Friday and making sure our annual summer and Christmas parties are shindigs to remember help us stay fresh, cheerful and sociable. We’re always looking to our employees for inspiration on new perks too – Christmas crafts are on the agenda and weekly yoga is set to start in January!

By focusing on keeping our team happy, we’ve definitely reaped the benefits as a business in terms of productivity and staff retainment. I like to think everyone’s stress levels are lower too – always a plus!

Why you should care about culture

The short answer is, your culture is a key element of your employer branding – the perception of your business you’re putting out there to potential employees. It can also help you keep your best workers engaged. Your staff are the heart of your business; ignoring their needs or trying to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach leads to poor morale and poor attitude. You can imagine the effect this has on productivity and performance.

When it comes to what employees want, the stats all point towards a degree of flexibility. New research from flexible working gurus Timewise has revealed that almost nine out of ten (87%) of the UK’s full-time workforce either currently work flexibly or would very much like to do so. The main reasons include greater control of work/life balance, reducing an energy-sapping commute, allowing more time for leisure and study, and more opportunities to look after children or other dependants.

With this in mind, if your business currently takes the more traditional approach, you might want to rethink. Netflix’s famous viral culture document states “we don’t measure people by how many hours they work or how much they are in the office” and instead rewards “sustained A-level performance”. It might be one to thumb through.

To attract new talent and hang onto your current employees, you need a company culture that listens to what your people crave, provides recognition, and encourages camaraderie. Create your own rules and make your business an enticing place to work.

If you need some help with your employer branding, that’s an area we can help you with. Contact M2 Bespoke today to find out how.