The Washington Business Journal named Stanton Communications one of its 100 Best Places to Work in 2018, just one year after we radically changed our work environment to reflect the collaborative, creative, and nimble nature of our team. Our new surroundings — complete with interesting people, open spaces, complimentary nitro cold-brew coffee, small-batch kombucha, and craft beer — contribute to our team’s work satisfaction. However, it takes a great deal more than free drinks to maintain an engaging culture that not only draws the best people, but draws the best out of them. Here’s how we do it.
Micromanaging is a curse word around here. Our team is full of smart people who are empowered to exercise their judgment when it comes to how they work and how best to serve our clients. It doesn’t mean there is an absence of leadership; it means that our leaders know when to direct, when to guide, and when to trust. Team members are highly self-driven and tend to volunteer for work rather than waiting to be “voluntold.”
With autonomy comes accountability, to our clients and to one another. Recognition abounds when results are achieved. Assessment and analysis come when we fall short. And we really hate falling short.
“We have an environment where I think we all feel pretty safe tossing out ideas, exploring them together, and constructively building/breaking them into the best possible strategic approach for the client, without jockeying, politicking or hurting anyone’s feelings — we’re here to create and find the best answer, not show each other up or tear anyone down, and approach brainstorming with an attitude of curiosity.”
This is a team that does not say “no,” or “that’s not my job.” Everyone supports everyone else and rises to the occasion when it’s needed. The workload may make us wince occasionally, but we have a culture of doing what it takes to support the good of the firm and each other.
“Stanton is a great place to work because the company operates professionally, thoughtfully and efficiently. Each team member is motivated to succeed, picks up tasks no matter their title and helps each other out with the importance of client satisfaction always in mind.”
Over a recent 2-day stretch, I bounced between a construction site (complete with hard hat), a meeting with some of the leading statisticians in the country, and a black-tie event with the Archbishop of New York. Earlier this week, my colleague spent the morning in a professional kitchen, sampling dizzying creations from a renowned chef, and the afternoon rehearsing for a webinar for professional coaches from around the world. We are about to begin work with an organization tackling a critically important human rights issue.
“I can’t imagine another place that would allow me to pursue so many interests. I am able to design, develop strategic initiatives, manage media at large-scale events and foster new business under one roof.”
Firms our size normally specialize in one area, such as tourism or education. We specialize in never being bored.
The pace can be challenging, but one colleague says she also finds it rewarding because she is encouraged to try new things and think beyond her current skill set and experience.
Sometimes our work requires long hours, overseas travel, or weekend commitments. Sometimes a colleague needs to wait for wildlife experts to extract a family of raccoons from her attic. In both cases, we make it work. Technology has made it so easy to function from anywhere, but while we prefer to see one another in the office, we also understand that life often has other plans.
We congratulate all the other organizations named among the Best Places to Work and look forward to hearing their stories. We are grateful to be among their ranks. Stanton Communications may have earned a place on the list because of the free beer, but we know there’s a lot more to it.