Thankful for a Company Culture that Inspires Creativity & Customer Success
It’s the season of giving, and this year (and every year) we couldn’t be anymore thankful for the company we’ve become and continue to be. We’re so grateful for the people and clients we get to work with each and every day, and can’t thank them enough for their hard work and support. That being said, we want to take the time to share what Strata is most thankful for this year – good customer and company culture, and the ways in which you can foster it.
Thank You, Strata Company
This year, we’re not only taking time to look back on how far we’ve come, but to express our appreciation and gratitude for our successes, inspirations, and company culture. Good company culture is created by the employees who show up and give it their all, so it’s important that they have a good place to do that. Having a trusted and respected environment where employees’ voices are heard gives them a space to feel included and listened to.
We strive to make sure all employees feel challenged, supported, and respected, but also ensure it’s clear that Strata isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The biggest part of a positive atmosphere is being able to handle negative or difficult situations and being able to overcome them. All companies encounter hurdles, but having a team that is ready to conquer them is a large part of a quality company culture. We’re thankful that our team embodies this and was able to be recognized this year, as we were awarded Great Place to Work certification. Check out our blog on how we earned this certificate.
How You Can Focus on Both the Customer & Your Team – Equally
It’s possible to put both your customers and employees first. How? By having good company culture. Customers take how your company is running into consideration, not just what you’re selling to them. The way your employees act, feel, and communicate with each other and your customers often determines how long your clients stick around for, or if they even buy from you to begin with. At Strata, we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our clients and our employees. We like to believe that the more excitement and connection there is within the office, the more connected employees are with clients – and the more excited clients are about services and offerings. It’s one thing to sell your product well, but going the extra mile for client experience is the game changer. A positive work environment is what motivates employees to do just that. So, before you think company culture isn’t as important as other aspects of your company, remember that it could very well be the reason your company isn’t seeing consistent sales.
How to Show Thanks
So ask yourself, what do your employees value most in their work environment, and what will motivate them? Is it trust? Respect? Creativity? Consistency? Positivity? The freedom to speak and make decisions? Whatever it may be, whether it’s one, or all of them, instilling the ones that matter most is what will facilitate the best environment for your team. The goal is for everyone to feel welcomed and accepted. One of the best ways to do this is by periodically recognizing your employees – let them know you see and acknowledge how hard they’re working. Recent studies show that “the best-performing teams receive roughly six positive comments for every negative one. They then share this positivity with their co-workers”, causing a ripple effect of positivity.
Cultures that successfully embrace gratitude tend to share these basics attributes:
- They treat their employees like real people, not anonymous workers.
- They trust and empower those employees to do great things.
- They accept mistakes, encourage original ideas, and reward risk-taking.
- They routinely express appreciation for the person, not just the job.
- They hire individuals who care about the organization’s future and who will add to the positive culture.
As we said, a strong, positive, and motivating culture can take time, but the first step is recognizing the team and environment you have, and thinking through where you’d like both to be in the future. We figured, what better time than the season of giving to emphasize this topic? We hope you’re able to take away some insight, see why we’re so thankful for our current culture, and now have some ideas on how to improve your own. Questions? Feel free to contact us.
Cheers to Us – We‘re Certified!
Strata’s thrilled to announce that we’ve become Great Place to Work-Certified™. We consider employee experience a top priority, and owe our continued success to our team of dedicated employees here at Strata. We celebrate and thank them all for helping us earn this incredible recognition.
Why a Certification?
At Strata, our vision’s clear. We want to not only help our clients and provide them the best solutions, but to also foster a great work environment and company culture. We pride ourselves on this mission, and even as we announce this certification, we are always looking for ways to improve. Good company culture not only brings in top talent, but motivates our employees to go above and beyond for our company, our customers, and each other. In fact, we’ve learned that 94% of entrepreneurs and 88% of job seekers say that a healthy culture at work is vital for success. Along with that, 69% of employees would work harder if they received more recognition.
We believed that our people deserved to be celebrated for their positive attitudes, unity, and the impact they have on our culture, so we opened the floor to our employees and had them share their feelings towards and experiences of Strata through the Great Place to Work’s survey. We were pleased to see that 96% of our employees said that when you join Strata, you’re made to feel welcome. Plus, 94% of employees said that they take pride in working for Strata, and are always willing to give extra to get the job done (but we weren’t surprised by that)! We’re so glad that our employees feel this way, and we wouldn’t be who we are today (and where we are today) without them.
“At Strata, our brand is more than a logo, a color palette, and a tagline. Our brand is our people, and because of them we help our clients Make Smart Happen. That’s why over the years we’ve made it our top priority to invest in them and our culture – because at the end of the day that’s what defines our company – real solutions, powered by real (happy and passionate) people.” – Caitlin Lally, Marketing Manager
About the Certification
Great Place to Work® Certification™ is the most “definitive ’employer-of-choice’ recognition that companies aspire to achieve”. It’s the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience. Great Place to Work Certification is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike, and is the global benchmark for identifying and recognizing outstanding employee experience. Every year, more than 10,000 companies across 60 countries apply to get Great Place to Work-Certified. We’re so proud to have applied and been selected.
What’s to Come
To celebrate, we’ll be promoting our Great Place to Work Certification all over our channels and platforms. This certification is all about our employees, so we want them to be part of the celebration and promotion today and every day. Strata also plans to take the feedback we received from our employees, and review it. We hope that this will help us continue to improve our work environment and employee satisfaction. We don’t just want to be a Great Place to Work this year, we want to be a Great Place to Work every year.
As a company who puts our employees first, we want to tell you that this type of accomplishment can take time. If you find that you aren’t sure how your employees feel at your company, let their voices be heard. Conduct a survey and allow them to share their thoughts so you can get a better understanding of your team’s pain points, wants, and needs. Who knows, maybe you’ll be next to be named Great Place to Work certified! Questions? Feel free to contact us.
How to Fight it & Flourish
As spooky season approaches and Halloween is around the corner, we’re thinking a lot about our biggest fears. But today we’re not talking about ghosts or goblins or even Michael Myers. We’re talking about one of the scariest things of all to any workplace…complacency.
“Complacency is man’s biggest weakness. It creeps up on us when we least expect it.” – Jay Mullings
Even if you think your company isn’t anywhere near complacency, there’s still always room to evaluate and grow. And, you may be surprised by what’s lurking behind the door of contentment. Complacency is not only bad for your company, but good for your competition, which we’d assume will give you a bit of a fright. If employees aren’t challenged to improve, things are the way they are because it’s the “way they’ve always been”, and the company isn’t growing, it’s definitely affecting your revenue. But don’t worry – it’s never too late to change. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the best ways to avoid company complacency and ensure you’re periodically updating and enhancing your culture, practices, and marketing.
Complacency can sneak up on any company without warning, shielding it from growth and stifling creativity and innovation. Why? Because if companies are seemingly doing “fine” and meeting their goals on paper, they feel no “need” or urgency to change. That’s where the biggest mistake is made, because companies should always be looking to evolve and thinking about their vision for the future. If not, ideas become stale, talent becomes bored, and eventually, the company comes to a jarring halt without any clue of how they got there.
When everything seems to be going well, it can be difficult to disrupt successes. And it may feel like the right decision to let processes and practices take their course rather than think about next steps and development, but often “the riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” Without urgency and consistency for change, employee performance shifts and can even decline. Statistics show that only 30% of employees in America are actually engaged in their work, and only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their office environment. With such low numbers already, it’s so important to keep employees excited, energized, and motivated for what they’re doing and what’s to come.
With complacency being a bigger, scarier possibility than you may have assumed, it’s important to keep it top of mind and to make sure you’re doing your best to combat it. Start with communication of your company’s mission, vision, and values. Make sure they’re clear, known, and maybe most importantly – accurate and true. Know who you are. If you do – your employees will too, and in turn they’ll feel more connected with and motivated by your workplace. Allow employees to see their contributions to the bigger mission, and their worth as an asset to the overarching vision.
After all, having a good (and growing) company culture is key to combatting complacency and ensuring workplace satisfaction. How do you improve your culture? Many ways, but the most effective tools are company newsletters, employee highlights, group meetings, and employee appreciation. Again – make your employees feel valued, and they’ll more likely provide value.
Additionally, make sure team members feel important and part of the greater whole. Encourage managers and team members to communicate within their individual teams, and make sure responsibilities are delegated and well distributed. Employees are more likely to become bored when they’re doing the same tasks over and over, so give them room to be creative and explore new opportunities. You never know who may have the next best idea.
Lastly, be prepared for whatever may come your company’s way, and never be too afraid to challenge the status quo. If we’ve learned anything these past two years, it’s that anything can happen, and that the saying “it won’t happen to us” is just not realistic. It’s important to listen to the ideas of your employees and always be prepared for what’s to come with an open communication structure. Make sure you have multiple decision makers, not just one, and that employees feel comfortable enough to make some decisions without “permission” from a leader. Training your employees to make decisions on their own will be a key factor in combatting complacency.
Refreshing Without Fear
Almost as important as your workplace and its people is your brand and marketing. Without change and evolution, your marketing can quickly become out-of-date right under your nose (causing your employees to lack company pride and your audience to lose interest). But how do you know when it’s the right time to update your brand and marketing?
A sure sign (these days) of lack luster marketing is an absence of social platforms. Some would even say if you’re not online, you might as well not exist. And although we think that sounds a little spooky, we’ll admit that it holds some truth. If you’re hard to find and not posting relevant content and imagery, target customers may be choosing your competitors (who are more accessible and approachable) over you.
Also important to your brand and its relevance is your website. In this day and age, it’s very easy to tell when a website has been left alone so long that it’s developing cob-webs. If you’re finding that your website traffic is down and your customers aren’t interacting with it, it’s time for an upgrade. But, before any big changes, compile data and make purposeful decisions. What is your audience looking for? What do they respond well too? How can you quickly and easily get them to have interest in your company and purchase goods?
Additionally, make sure you keep your advertising and customer communication – whether digital or physical – energized and creative. Combine direct and digital marketing to reach specific audiences and keep your brand top of mind. Don’t settle for just one medium that “seems to be working” if multiple channels of communication could bring you more success.
Lastly, avoid complacency by focusing on helping the customer rather than selling to them. While the overall goal of most companies is to generate sales, it’s essential you show your customers that you care about their pain points and needs. To see all of these tactics in action, check out our recent blog on how to create successful marketing campaigns.
Company complacency can sneak up on you like a ghost in the night and lead to missed opportunities, poor customer service, and disengaged employees. Stay aware of the possibility of contentment and make sure you’re always exploring, evolving, and rising above the rest. Change is inevitable, but complacency doesn’t have to be.
For more information on what we do at Strata and how we can help you fight complacency with one of our marketing solutions, contact us today.
A Series for Growth
The pandemic has changed many things, in many ways. But oddly, in some ways, it may have brought us closer as organizations. Have you ever had so many one-on-one meetings (albeit by video conference) pre-pandemic? Or shared, for so long, a common challenge?
The workplace has been changed forever, no doubt. Although we, in a way, may have grown closer, my personal opinion is that this purely work from home culture is not sustainable long term. We need to see each other and connect in a way that only physical presence can provide. Yet, there’s still no way we’ll ever be back into the office, every day, 9 to 5, and experience all that comes with that routine. When we return to the office, things will look much different.
At Strata specifically, we’ve begun to put processes in place to move towards our vision of the future. A less constrained, more flexible work environment that we hope captures the best from both WFH and WFO, and offers work productivity while being conducive to employee morale. Successfully doing that will both enhance and sustain our existing culture and help us attract the best of the best new talent as we go forward. A large part of that evolution is renovating our spaces for cohesion, productivity and modernization – but also with environmental conservation at top of mind. Our hope is to conduct an office remodel that creates an eco-friendly work environment and also enhances employee wellbeing.
As our business evolves, we know we want to not just renovate – but renovate with purpose. Doing the very best we can to protect the environment consciously, ethically, sustainably, and thoughtfully.
We look to hire architectural and contracting teams that not only know the ins and outs of modern renovation and interior and architectural design, but have a knowledge, drive, and even devotion for environmentally conscious practices. We’re going into this project with the expectation that perfection in these renovations is not possible. Our goal then is to learn what is possible, grow in understanding, and to do our best to acquire knowledge of our own as we share our office redesign learnings with others who may not know where to start.
On the topic of perfection, we know too that we cannot possibly create a perfect environment for every Strata employee, as all of us are unique individuals with different wants and personal visions for working, but we will strive to offer a flexible work environment, with comfortable, collaborative spaces that cultivate productivity, proficiency, and most importantly – a trust of and loyalty to the organization and our team. While energy efficiency and sustainability are highly important to us, so are company culture and employee wellbeing.
Of course, when it comes to environmental impact, even specified down to workplace environments, there is a ton of information out there, most of which can be difficult to sift through and verify. Even more, we’ve already come across research that seems to fly under the radar – that construction and expansion itself can sometimes be much more detrimental to the environment than inhabiting the space thereafter. So, we’ve put together a small team to research different aspects of the renovation, from floor to ceiling and demolition to reclamation, to achieve our goal of determining just what one small company can do.
Our plan is to have our Conshohocken offices fully renovated by November 2021, and our Plymouth Meeting offices by January, 2022. These timelines may change, and that’s okay, as well thought out changes can take time. We wish to unify these two spaces, and ultimately, unify our team for years to come.
This is the start of our journey. Come back soon to read about our next steps.