Living through a global pandemic, inventory shortages, record Inflation, years of lost time with loved ones, slow down in social growth for their children from remote learning, and a looming global war, employees are actively reevaluating what they need in an organization that they trust to support their families’ future and work-life balance. As companies move back into their corporate offices, employees have had the opportunity to examine what they need for work-life balance and are deciding if the additional time and expense of commuting and new work pants are worth it.
As COO, I am always trying to find different perspectives to improve the Diamond Media Solutions corporate culture. But lately I am getting a lot of confusing contradictions and advice that sounds great, but I don’t know if it still applies to the current business culture.
Today looks nothing like what it did 10 or 5 years ago, and it isn’t even close to how it was 6 months ago, so a “copy and paste” set of business principals from then isn’t applicable in today’s business ecosystem. So, what advice still works and what doesn’t?
What still works?
- Innovative thinking – this idea will be forever timeless and applies to every aspect of life, as we all face scenarios that require quick thinking to find a solution. We saw that during the last couple of years when supply chains were tight and at home bread baking increased. At Diamond Media Solutions, we saw over 70% of our revenue disappear the first two weeks of the pandemic and then never returned even after things began to return to normal. As a marketing agency with almost 20 years of experience, primarily focused on automotive marketing, it appears that the pandemic has changed our core industry forever. So, what did we do? We got creative and went after new verticals that we knew we could help make a difference!
- Determination – the only thing in life you can count on is death, taxes, and postage going up. Everything else is a variable and beyond our control but we can control our attitudes. With investments never being 100% guaranteed all a business owner or person with a goal can do is to never give up regardless of what is thrown at us even if that means we need to pivot.
- Modernization – improving processes and technologies allows employees to become more efficient and reduce the risk of error by utilizing cloud-based software that allows internal and external team members to communicate instantly like Slack, online meetings, Google Drives with shared documents, Customer and Project Management software, and third-party products like Zapier to help tie them all together! These examples allow employees to no longer waste time by removing tedious tasks of copying and pasting information from different documents or platforms by information automatically being synchronized for all teams! It allows everyone to work smarter, not harder.
What doesn’t work?
- Absent Parents – The ability to provide paid maternity and paternity leave is one of Diamond Media Solutions’ greatest benefits we offer to our employees and during our interviews we are regularly getting potential employees saying that they are wanting to be remote or in a hybrid experience to spend more time with their children.
- Working for the sake of working – I’m in no way saying that in order to be successful that you will get there by working 4 hours a day. Success is going to take time, and a lot of work, but it is important to use your time wisely. We had the bad habit of staying way too late, way too often in the office or never taking lunch and vacations because how it might look to each other, but that is how you burn yourself out and negatively impact your mental and physical health. By really utilizing our time as an organization each of our employees designate time during the workday for professional, mental, and physical growth. Some of our favorite things to do is go on our lunchtime walks, learning a new skill or technology, researching new markets and marketing ideas, and staying informed of what’s happening in the financial and political markets.
- Controlling every aspect of the workday – I cannot speak for every industry, and of course there are companies that will always need to require where employees work and what they wear but when it comes to the world in which Diamond Media Solutions operates, micromanagement is not the way of the future. After several years of successfully being remote, there is no reason to put the unneeded stress and expense on our employees of having to come into a physical location every single day. And to help maintain a healthy remote work experience with strong corporate culture, we believe in independent responsibility where employees are in charge of themselves, and they can manage their workload effectively. We also have created an environment where all employees feel acknowledged, appreciated, and part of our community which is extremely important as our Senior Business Development Manager addressed in his blog article how workplace isolation and how some organizations got remote work wrong by creating an environment of “living at work” rather than “working from home”
As COO, I have enjoyed helping to cultivate the corporate culture here at Diamond Media Solutions and often do a lot of planning for the future. And as I reflect on what has and hasn’t worked in the past, I can’t help but to imagine what it will be like in 6 months, 5 years, or even 10 years from now.