7 MINUTE READ | March 13, 2018
How to Maintain Company Culture as You Grow
After seven exciting years, PMG has grown from two advertisers with a passion for development into a thriving company with global offices. Something that has remained top of mind as we’ve grown over the years is ensuring we keep our fun-loving company culture. We take a lot of pride in focusing on our people and that is something that has not and will not change as we continue to grow.
Maintaining our culture and values was easy when we were fewer than 50 employees, but after crossing that milestone, we realized that culture needed to be a bigger focus. To ensure that our culture continued to thrive, our People Ops team looked closely at the aspects of our culture that needed protection and nurturing. Identifying threats as we continue to grow is essential to ensuring that there is still structure and process behind our culture but only just enough so that employees’ creativity and agility aren’t suffocated. With offices in Fort Worth, Austin, Los Angeles and London, the maintenance of multi-office company culture has been prioritized by leadership.
The values that our company culture was founded on have stayed the same since the beginning of PMG: agile, accountable, authentic, bold and diverse. PMG’s environment fosters innovation in a work hard play hard environment. We want PMG to be a place where people want to come to work and look forward to spending their day here.
At PMG we truly are a family, and there are not many places where you walk through the office and everyone knows each other’s names and will smile and say good morning. Not every PMGer is the same but that is something that makes us unique. As we’ve grown our family has grown to become more diverse.
Our company culture is something that has continued to flourish as we have continued to grow. We have ranked in the top five of Ad Age’s Best Place to Work two years in a row. Work-life balance is something that we are recognized for and something that we pride ourselves in. No matter what office you work in at PMG you enjoy flexibility in your work schedule. Not only are our work schedules flexible but our working locations also have the potential to be flexible. We have PMGers all over the United States that have been granted the flexibility to move with their families or spouses.
Our head of culture, Pam Buyers, has developed a great steering committee that assists her in driving our company’s culture to be one of the best in the industry. Steering committee is made up of employees across our offices to ensure that the elements that make us great are being fostered. By supporting cultural initiatives around the office and great emerging leaders within the organization, our steering committee works hard to ensure PMG is inclusive and welcoming for new hires and veteran PMGers. Steering committee is one of the driving factors behind our office going green, as we now all bring our own cups and mugs because one PMGer was passionate about recycling and reducing our carbon footprint.
Fostering our culture is something that is top of mind, so we thought to take some time to review the ways that we’ve continued to nurture our culture in times of growth.
Something that helps us to stay connected to each other as we grow is our focus on celebration. Our culture has been fostered around the idea that we work hard but we also play hard. It’s a priority at PMG that we celebrate big and little successes. Now, these celebrations can be a variety of things from a small team lunch to celebrating a successful QBR or it could be a large group happy hour to celebrate a well-deserved promotion.
Some of our more cherished and exciting celebrations are the annual events here at PMG. Throughout the year we have Field Day, a company-wide kickball tournament and a yearly anniversary celebration. These events are typically planned around when we will have team members from other offices at our Fort Worth headquarters. The competitive nature runs deep here at PMG, so should you be so lucky to be on a team with some of our more competitive PMGers, these events can be a whirlwind. Our events typically always end in a family-style dinner, where everyone can be found laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
The holidays are always a fun time to be a PMGer. Every year we have an annual Thanksgiving bonding lunch in our Fort Worth and Austin offices with a dessert competition. This year’s competition was especially fierce as we had sisters, one in Fort Worth and the other in Austin, both enter delicious desserts. They both blew the competition out of the water and claimed the prizes in their office. We cannot wait for the 2018 competition where we hope to see some impressive desserts from our LA office as well.
Encouragement is a huge part of our culture as well. The ability to instill confidence in our coworkers is something that we at PMG we strive to do every day. On a daily basis, you will find PMGers from different teams helping one another on projects or collaborating on new endeavors. Just because we’re growing doesn’t mean our focus on people and one another has shifted.
Recognition is something that is a huge priority at PMG. Once a month we have an all-company Friday meeting, where everyone in Fort Worth gathers in our large meeting space, our Austin and LA teams call in and we go through our own version of a company newsletter. One thing about our Friday meetings that focus on the congratulatory part of our culture is our Baller of the Month.
On the morning of a Friday meeting, an email goes out asking for nominations for Baller of the Month, which is our version of an employee of the month. The nominators then get to stand before the company and say a couple sentences about why they nominated who they did. The people who’ve been nominated then come to the front and compete in a competition style game like; who can eat a fruit roll up the fastest, moving skittles from one bowl to another with chopsticks and a classic game of who can pop the highest amount of balloons in the shortest amount of time.
At the end of the day, the biggest thing that makes PMG’s culture different is that we care. It is as simple as that. We care about each other, our work and about PMG as a whole. Our culture supports our passions and our desire to learn. Something that has kept us all connected as we’ve grown is Slack, it is a place where you have access to anyone in the company no matter their location. There are not enough words to truly express the overwhelming caring nature of PMGers but I’ll leave you with an example of one way we show that we care and we feel cared about; every year around Christmas our founder and CEO, George Popstefanov, handwrites Christmas cards and sends them to each of us.
Agency-life is fun and fast-paced with so many client calls, meetings and project deadlines that finding the time to pause and truly enjoy the company of your co-workers can be difficult. Our culture is bonded by shared purpose and values. As we grow we’ve realized the importance of doing things that maintain the familial environment that has been a key to our company’s success. It is important to recognize that no matter how quickly the growth happens company culture should never be sacrificed or shorted on.
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We not only celebrate and congratulate but we care. We’re so excited for the future of continued growth and to watch our culture evolve.
Posted by: Pam Buyers
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