Last week I had the tremendous pleasure of collecting the hardware associated with our agency being named a “Top Place to Work” by the Boston Globe – for the third year in a row! – and I’m taking some time to share how a business like ours receives such an accolade. We’re in great company, and while I’m confident that others on the Globe’s list manage their business similarly, here are a few steps we take to ensure that Matter is a place where people want to spend their time:
First, we hire exceptionally well. We’re in a people business and having the very best PR, social media and creative professionals anywhere is key to our business success, and having such a high standard for employees drives expectations upward and fuels positive results. Delivering as a team or an individual – and being part of a culture with a results-focused foundation – directly contributes to Matter being a Top Place to Work.
Second, speaking of culture, since our inception we’ve embraced a work-hard/play-hard approach, and balance work demands with a number of ways to clear our minds. We have active clubs for running, basketball, golf and yoga, and we have an active and robust agency-wide volunteer program – called “Helping Hands Matter” – which is a significant source of pride for all those involved. We collaborate as teams and in office-wide brainstorms, and celebrate all that we can while enjoying locally brewed beer poured from our Matter-branded beer tap.
Third, we likely lead the PR industry with the amount of time off given to staff. In addition to a rich PTO (Paid Time Off) policy that includes our agency being closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and Summer Fridays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, our agency likes to offer some added time off for employees to make the most of holidays. We have an extra day off around the Thanksgiving break, and we typically take a day to recover from our annual holiday party – among a long list of days off throughout the year. Our people rarely stray from doing 110% when they work, and having a few extra days to do whatever make them happy goes a long way.
Fourth, our agency provides serious professional opportunity – in a way that you won’t find elsewhere. We have an established mentoring program that is one piece of a bigger pie that helps our staff reach important professional milestones. A career can be made while working at Matter, and several of our management team members have demonstrated exactly that. In addition, we are nimble and encourage entrepreneurial and creative thinking. While we have grown significantly over the years, we are still able to turn on a dime while embracing employee-suggested solutions on ways to become a better organization. That sort of environment encourages employee empowerment, rewards entrepreneurial thinking, and ultimately translates into increased revenues for the business.
And, finally, we truly like one another and have fun coming to work and doing our jobs. Our agency’s vibe encourages friendship – in and out of the office – and it shows in client meetings and at company events. Our people genuinely like what they do, and have made a commitment to work as well as they are able while here at Matter. In turn I’ve committed to providing an environment that is supportive and fun, and that contributes to us being awarded as a Top Place to Work.
If you take nothing else away from this blog post, it should be this: happy people do great work. And you know what else? They tend to stick around for years. That creates a virtuous cycle of consistency and excellence, and what could be better than that?