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  • Writer's pictureZoe Alexandra

How to Preserve Agency Culture in a Remote-First World

In my +15 years of leading and growing agency teams, I've seen my fair share of challenges. But perhaps none as daunting as the task of scaling while preserving the culture that makes your agency unique.

Culture is a hard thing to pin point for many founders. It's certainly not just about having beanbags and free lunches or about forcing people back into the office in order to protect "culture".

It's something that's often much harder to articulate. It's more to do with the heart of your agency, the thing that makes people feel connected to a common goal and purpose when they are at work.

In a post-COVID world where remote and hybrid work models are the new norm, the importance of maintaining a strong, positive culture has never been greater.

So, let's dive into some practical suggestions for agency founders and leaders on how to scale successfully while keeping that startup mindset and positive energy alive.

Clarify and Communicate Your Cultural Values

Before you can preserve your culture, you need to define it. What are your agency's core values, and what kind of culture do you want to foster?

Communicate these values clearly to your team, and make sure everyone understands their role in upholding them. Reinforce these values in all aspects of agency life, from hiring decisions to project execution.

Hire with Agency Cultural Fit in Mind

As you scale, the temptation to hire quickly can be strong. But remember, every new team member should not only possess the necessary skills but also align with your agency's culture.

Look for candidates who share your values, mindset, and positive energy. During interviews, ask questions that gauge their compatibility with your culture.

Invest in Onboarding and Training

Scaling doesn't mean cutting corners on onboarding and training. In fact, it's more critical than ever. Ensure that new hires receive a comprehensive orientation that immerses them in your agency's culture.

Regular training sessions and team-building exercises can help remote and hybrid teams stay connected and aligned.

Foster Open Communication

In a remote or hybrid setup, communication is the glue that holds your agency's culture together. Encourage open, honest, and frequent communication among team members.

Use collaboration tools and video calls to bridge the physical divide, and create spaces for informal conversations to maintain camaraderie.

Celebrate Wins and Milestones

Scaling doesn't mean forgetting to celebrate your successes. Recognise and celebrate both individual and team achievements.

These moments of acknowledgment help reinforce the positive energy and startup mindset that drive your agency's culture.

Lead by Example

As a founder or leader, your actions set the tone for the entire agency. Demonstrate your commitment to the culture by embodying its values. Show vulnerability, humility, and a willingness to learn.

Encourage feedback and demonstrate that everyone's voice matters.

Empower Your Team

Your agency's culture isn't solely your responsibility; it's a collective effort. Empower your team members to take ownership of cultural initiatives. Encourage them to propose and implement ideas that strengthen the culture and positive energy within the agency.

Be Adaptable

Lastly, be ready to adapt your culture as your agency evolves. While core values should remain consistent, the way they manifest can change as you scale.

embrace change and remain open to feedback from your team about how to better align your culture with your agency's growth trajectory.

In a Nutshell

Scaling while preserving a strong, positive culture in a remote-first world is undoubtedly a challenge, but it's one worth pursuing.

By defining your cultural values, hiring for fit, investing in onboarding and training, fostering communication, celebrating achievements, leading by example, empowering your team, and staying adaptable, you can ensure that your agency's culture remains the heart and soul of your growth journey.

With the right approach, your agency can scale without losing the startup mindset and positive energy that make it exceptional!

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