Agency culture is a term often heard when employees are describing their work environment. As the creative group explains, the culture of an agency is not only dependent on the personalities of those in charge, but also the combination of values, vision and actions that exist and take place in the agency.

One of the biggest ways to create a positive culture is to embrace failure. When starting out in a student-run agency, it is easy to feel the pressure to not make any mistakes. Most people are overly cautious about sharing their ideas when they are afraid they will be shot down. By letting the staff know that mistakes are okay, leaders can keep the door open for new ideas and creativity.

Ultimately, the better an agency can foster an environment where individuals know they can make mistakes, the better creativity can thrive among teams.

Here are some things we are doing to create a positive culture in our agency:

  • Training- Before beginning the year, the leadership team takes a weekend to become familiar with Morris+Mitchell as an agency. We review agency culture and discuss how we plan to help carry it out among the rest of the staff. During the first all-staff meeting, we take the time to review agency procedures and communicate our vision, goals and culture.

  • Attire- At Morris+Mitchell, we want to create a professional environment. Student agencies can sometimes be stereotyped as being too relaxed, but we want to put forth an image that will be taken seriously. The leadership team is encouraged to dress professionally at our weekly meetings to set an example for the staff.

  • Food- Believe it or not, something as simple as providing food at a meeting can help boost interaction between staff members. At our weekly agency meetings, everyone looks forward to grabbing a snack from the bin in the conference room. Our leadership meetings are supplied with pizza and tacos. As the Parks and Rec character April Ludgate says, “Pizza is knowledge,” and we completely agree.

  • Workspace- One of our most recent changes has been the remodel of the agency. The new Morris+Mitchell space is decorated with artistic client work, modern seating, and dimmed mood lighting. A workspace that portrays the culture helps to set the mood for agency meetings as well as display who we are to visiting clients.  

  • Don- Although he’s not real (we wish), Don is Morris+Mitchell’s resident agency dog. The life-sized, plush golden retriever is always a welcoming sight in the room.