How Special Programs Build A Positive Workplace Culture

Building and maintaining a strong culture is the lifeblood of long-term success, especially if you’re a service-based business like a marketing or advertising firm. After all, what is an agency without thriving people? 

Modo Modo has cultivated a culture of community, creativity, enthusiasm, appreciation, and leadership from the start. Core values such as these guide us daily and manifest in our extracurricular programs—things like DoGooder, DoWeller, and Modo Mingle. 

If you’ve been thinking of launching similar culture-driven initiatives in your organization, you’re in luck. We asked our team to share how our programs came to be, what they mean to us, and how they contribute to rich employee culture.

DOGOODERS IN THE COMMUNITY

DoGooder launched back in Modo Modo’s early days. Once a quarter, we close the office and volunteer in the community together. Employees choose causes or non-profits that are meaningful to them, and we put the full weight of the firm behind them. To date, we’ve supported more than 35 organizations and donated over 5,000 hours of our time. (Looking for your own way to give back? For inspiration, check out these great organizations we’ve worked with.)

“DoGooder is a cornerstone of Modo Modo and brings our values to life. DoGooder allows team building and collaboration outside the office and enables us to show community leadership. And, we’re creating team intimacy by sharing our most personal causes with the entire company. Following our individual passions adds purpose to the work we do. 

On another level, it’s so rewarding to be able to step away from the daily grind and help others in a meaningful way – through physical work and personal moments of connection!”

– Adrienne Walter, Account Director

FIRST, BE WELL  

While we love doing good in the community, we also know it’s critical to keep ourselves healthy and whole. DoWeller started as a simple step challenge and blossomed into a multi-pronged program that prioritizes wellbeing. New employees get the fun fundamentalsa FitBit®, a water bottle, and a Wellable subscription. Employees routinely put out the bat call, asking others to join them in taking laps around the building or participate in a friendly weekend competition. It’s been great for getting people active, energized, and an essential part of relieving stress.

As the program has expanded, we’ve emphasized whole-person wellness. We’ve incorporated every kind of challenge, including water consumption, healthy eating, step counting, and activities like swimming, biking, weightlifting, and even aerial yoga. In 2022, we will incorporate mental health and wellness for a truly holistic approach.

“DoWeller has really evolved and come alive in the last year. It not only keeps health and wellbeing at the top of everyone’s mind, but DoWeller also provides opportunities for social interaction outside of the day-to-day work. That kind of connection is incredibly important as we navigate the intricacies of work, life, and everything in between.” 

– Kari Hiner, Associate Creative Director

SOCIALLY CONNECTED—EVEN WHEN SEPARATED

Our social committee (lovingly called Modo Mingle) was born out of the pandemic. In the ‘before times,’ fostering relationships and a positive work culture happened easily with impromptu hallway chats, kitchen celebrations, outings, and the like. But, when we were all in a stay-at-home stance, we had to combat loneliness, isolation and rethink the best ways to build and maintain connections. 

We began with twice-monthly happy hours via web conference but soon recognized differences in our team member’s social styles and needs. We soon devised a mix of activities to help people connect in the most comfortable and meaningful ways for them. 

“Most of us are back in the office now, but we maintain a range of ways for the team to get together and enjoy each other. We do everything from weekly collaborative music playlists to a ‘Question of the Week’ posted in the company chat stream, small group’ Coffee Chats’ twice a month, and in-person and Zoom-style post-work catchups. We work hard to build a fun, inclusive, appreciative environment that celebrates our unique interests and communication styles and builds community—regardless of location.”

– Amanda Creger, Director of Strategy (one of our “ReModoers”, an employee that lives out of state and so is a remote Modoer.)

LEADERS SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT CHAMPION CULTURE & CONNECTION

A common theme for us is “By Modoers, for Modoers.” Each of our programs is inspired by, and nurtured by, an employee-led committee. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I love that we’ve developed multiple committees. It gives individuals different ways to engage with our culture beyond day-to-day assigned responsibilities. Being employee-led and run, our special programs reflect what our team members value and what ‘fills their tanks.’ It’s also fun to see the common threads that run through our (very different) programs and tie back to Modo Modo’s core values. 

Our program committee members play such a big part in shaping the way those values get reflected—and ultimately how we show up as an organization.”

– Moira Vetter, CEO