As I entered into the great unknown of seeking full-time employment over a year ago, I wholeheartedly threw myself into interview after interview and LinkedIn, pitching my worth to employers around Atlanta. I realized then that most public relations work is similar by nature. What’s different is the type of company you ultimately represent.
I proudly claim (most) of my #millennial traits, one being the value placed on company culture. To avoid falling into the trap of working in a toxic culture hidden behind ping-pong tables and beer Fridays – I chose to look at the employees I would surround myself with, instead of counting the number of razor scooters readily available around the office.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love beer Fridays. Ping-pong tables are cool and every good tech-firm needs a razor scooter. But, those traits alone won’t sustain a company or its employees.
Transparency. Creativity. Trust. Encouragement. Respect. Those are the traits that will stand the test of time and architect a culture built on a common goal to achieve greatness, for our clients and for one another.
We have an epidemic of exhausted, uninspired and overwhelmed employees on the verge of burnout. When creatives and industry disruptors are left to only match the mediocracy of a stagnant company, deliverables are hurt. At T/K, as with most agencies, a bit of stress is always a factor, but it’s what fuels the energy of the office. After 15 years, the creative genius still runs strong. Creativity that is fueled by open collaboration and continual professional development.
According to Annie Pearl, VP of Product at Glassdoor, this new wave of employees are on the hunt for a company that is transparent and authentic. They want to know what the company stands for, who they are and where they need to improve. While employees are investing their time into the company, it’s imperative the company invests back into the employees.
Within the four walls, this is seen through quarterly business updates and outings, where we learn first-hand just how the business is doing and celebrate everyone’s hard work. We cook and eat locally sourced meals together to encourage a healthy lifestyle; we exercise personal growth through programs such as ‘Red with TED’ bi-weekly wine and TED Talks gatherings; and we give back to the Atlanta community through CSR support of health and wellness, environment or children causes.
I consider myself fortunate to do the work I do, while surrounded with people I truly like and believe in. Those simple things are more motivation (to me) than bragging about my trendy office on Instagram.