I’m a home-brewer and Certified Cicerone®, so when I first started at GFM I hosted a beer and cheese pairing to help break the ice between with my new co-workers. Everyone enjoyed it so much that I began hosting weekly beer tastings that highlighted different beer styles. It has been almost four years since our very first Beer Club, and we’re still having fun with it, as evidenced by our Outside Magazine write-up for this year’s “100 Best Places to Work.” Beer Club has morphed into a time where we all can take a breather and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s also a time for us to socialize with clients away from the usual confines of a business meeting. Everyone is invited to Beer Club, so the next time you are free at 3:30pm on a Thursday, stop by the office and join us. Read more after the jump…
What are your boundaries when it comes to client culture and the type of clients you would represent? And would you have the courage to maintain those boundaries if the client represented hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual fees? How about millions of dollars?
How much do you care about client culture?
Would you be willing to represent Harvey Weinstein following his rape and harassment allegations? Sitrick and Company does. How about Bill O’Reilly following his sexual harassment claims? N.S. Bienstock Agency did. Would you be willing to create campaigns for the NRA or the anti-gun group Americans for Responsible Solutions? WPP did both… at the same time.
It’s no surprise to those of us who work here that GFM is the No. 1 place to work in America, according to OUTSIDE Magazine. From unlimited “trusted time off” to an annual teambuilding offsite with Outward Bound, not to mention an onsite treadmill desk (my favorite!) and Beer Club every Thursday afternoon, we’re truly lucky to be part of the GFM culture!
That’s why several of our team members have been with 15-year-old GFM for at least 10 years – a milestone that earns employees a four-week, paid sabbatical to take some time off to reflect, rejuvenate and reconnect. In August, I became the fourth GFM team member to enjoy sabbatical and I divided my time between home and two weeks visiting family in Nova Scotia, Canada. Whether you’re lucky enough to have an employer who offers a sabbatical program or whether you’re simply able to slip away from the office for a short vacation, I compiled a few reflections that I hope provide some inspiration to take with you on your trip – or to simply plug into everyday life! Read more after the jump…
Not long ago, I posted a blog about what I believe really matters when it comes to company culture. One aspect I didn’t really delve into in that post was employee engagement. I recently came across Cone Communications’ 2016 Employee Engagement Study and wanted to share some interesting insights that I think absolutely relate back to creating a strong company culture where employees look forward to coming to work and want to stick around long-term.
I’ve just had the opportunity to take advantage of GFM’s generous sabbatical policy… After 10 years, employees are encouraged to take one month off to “undertake activities that promote individual rejuvenation and personal benefit.”
I did so by participating in a yoga retreat in Croatia with six Brits and a Norwegian I’d never met before, taking a two-week vacation in Croatia and Italy with my boyfriend, and then spending a week re-acclimating and getting organized at home in Denver. It was an absolutely wonderful experience and as I sat at lunch savoring my last few days off, I jotted down some of the lessons I learned that may prove helpful should you ever find yourself in the position of enjoying a month off.
1. Modifying isn’t cheating
As a former gymnast (AKA perfectionist) I feel the need to be able to bend forward and touch the ground with hands flat and legs straight when I’m practicing yoga. Thanks to a hamstring issue, I’m not currently able to, which has been driving me crazy. On this yoga retreat, our instructor encouraged me to bend my knees deeply in forward bend. Doing so not only enabled me to put my hands flat on the ground without pain, it also produced an amazing stretch that felt great. My preconceived notions of what “success” looked like in that pose and the expectations known only to me (no one else was watching to make sure I kept my legs straight) had been holding me back from true success.
Culture is a really, really big deal at GroundFloor Media (GFM). It’s something we talk about regularly, and it’s something both our president and founder present on quite frequently. As the team member who prepares and submits award entries for GFM, I end up writing about our culture a lot. And by virtue of working for a marketing communications agency, I get a glimpse into a whole variety of company cultures as we meet and work with all of our clients. And with all of this talking, writing and observing, I’ve come to believe that a healthy and vibrant company culture – one that results in a business that employees and clients/customers are excited about – really boils down to four main things.