PRCA Pulse by By Rosa Bullock, PRCA MENA Member, Founder of SOCIATE

Why does company culture matter?

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. 

There are wise words from Peter Drucker, considered the father of modern management. Drucker places more importance on a company’s culture than on its strategy. This approach is echoed in companies around the world now more than ever before. Soft skills now compete with technical skills to land a prospective candidate a job. As we gradually emerge from the pandemic, a company’s culture can make or break its relationship with its employees. 


Let’s start with exploring what “company culture” means 

In the workplace, culture acts as the glue that holds an organisation together. Its DNA is made up of a company’s values, vision, and principles. A company’s culture is a living entity that drives day-to-day actions and decisions. 


So, why does company culture matter? 

Organisational culture plays an important role in maintaining and boosting employee productivity. Positive company culture creates an environment where employees feel valued and empowered. Founders and C-suite professionals will find that the more empowered employees are, the more they can take their own foot off the gas. Empowered employees are excellent company ambassadors, and can even support key decision making. 


How I crafted my company’s culture 

Culture is vital to me. We spend a good portion of our lives in the office and with our co-workers, so healthy company culture is paramount. SOCIATE, like all start-ups, has humble origins. Our pilot team was initially just me followed by our current Strategic Communications Director, Rabab Hussain.  

All agency founders and solopreneurs will recall the long hours they invested while getting their business off the ground. It wasn’t any different for me.  

What kept me going was my vision for SOCIATE and the positivity I was surrounded with. I’d had my fair share of unhealthy workplace experiences and knew that, if SOCIATE was going to be successful, my employees needed to feel nurtured and celebrated at work. And of course, empowered. 


How does SOCIATE keep its team happy? 

SOCIATE’s team is a blend of talent from around the world. With so many cultures under a single roof, it’s important that we understand each other.  

Agency life, as we all know, is incredibly fast-paced. To keep us all streamlined, here are some internal initiatives that help keep us all on the same page. 


SOCIATE Adventures: From experiential workshops with our clients to competitive adventures, we set KPIs aside and bring fun to the fore during our team adventures. We’ve previously been baristas for a day at The Coffee Club, made cocktails at Tribeca, and most recently done an Escape Room. 


Strategy Day: Our quarterly Strategy Days are dedicated to looking back and looking ahead. We discuss our agency goals, celebrate the milestones we’ve achieved over the past quarter, and take on fresh team goals. 


Wellness Day: Our team members enjoy one Wellness Day per quarter. On their Wellness Day, they can leave the office behind and work from anywhere they like. We’ve had visits to beach clubs, coffee shops, and youth work hubs! 


Why does company culture particularly matter in our industry? 

Our lightning-fast industry relies on creativity at the drop of a hat.  

Communications professionals wear countless hats, and quite often go above and beyond, to ensure their clients are kept happy. The flexibility and creative investment our industry demands can occasionally be emotionally taxing. 

Positive company culture ensures employees are always aware of why they’re doing what they are. It creates a safe space for creatives to thrive, even when it feels like time and the odds are stacked against them. In a post-pandemic world, employee wellness needs greater emphasis than it’s had in the past. 

Revisiting your company culture is a good first step to…

Happier clients, 

Happier employees, 

And your personal happiness.