In the second instalment of her blog series on how to future-proof your agency, Group Projects Director and Head of People, Carly Lipman, takes a look at how Marble’s mission will become solidified into action. Read the first part of the series here.

From vision to action: The Covid Revolution

Our values guide who we are, what we do, and why.

Marble’s mission is motivated and guided by its values. Our values let our clients know who we are, what we stand for and what they can expect from us. These values reflect how we operate on a daily basis and the methods and activities we use to take us from vision, to mission and into action. We take our business values and combine them with our team values to create a core ideology that all of us are able to buy-into. This in turn becomes embedded into our company’s culture.

At Marble, the foundation for our company culture is built on the premise of creating a positive every day experience for our team. It is important for them to be true to their word. Each person will honour some or all of your own company values to a more or less extent, often depending on their job role. We’ve used our values as our guiding principles which have resonated with our team because, unsurprising, they tie in with their own personal values. Within that we aim to provide positive, fun ways to support inclusive involvement where we get together for personal and also professional development activities in and outside normal working hours.

So what are our core values and how have we embodied these into our cultural offering?

  • Mindfull
  • Challenging
  • Adaptable
  • Driven 

Every part of our cultural program has required us to be driven and adaptable at its core. Driven to grow together, to support each other, to find new innovative ways of working and servicing our clients and to drive our culture to be the best it can be. Every activity and offering has been adapted to work within the virtual realm we have all been thrown into. The offering itself alone is highly adaptable, taking into account the different members of the team, their own drivers and values and needs. 

Each offering was also driven by the value of mindfulness. What do we need as a team right now, how do we stay connected with each other, the company and our own selves? How do we support each other, create joy, inspiration and motivation amongst us all? We are on a journey to be better to our planet, making sure our impact is only a positive one.

And finally how do we continue to challenge ourselves, our environment, our circumstance, our offering our understanding, our learning and our growth? With the biggest challenge of all, to be able to stay driven, motivated and adaptable in what has been a very challenging time for the world.

What are the initiatives we’ve put in place as a team?

#1 Bi weekly shoutouts

There is no specific framework for this; it’s all about acknowledging other team members for things they achieved, projects they supported, or simply if they made someone’s day. Everyone in the team submits their shoutouts on a weekly basis, and this really harbours an environment of the individual being recognised by their team members and the directors – it’s fun, simple but hugely effective in boosting morale. 

#2 Directors 1-2-1 lunches

Pre-Covid when we were all in the office, we had a completely open plan setup where everyone sits in one space together – it’s a very open environment to encourage collaboration between us all. During Covid times whilst we’re all virtual, you start to see the communication that was once so easy and open drop slightly. As a team, we had lunch together in our local cafe every single day which gave us a chance to connect together, switch off and have a laugh. It’s now more challenging to naturally create this type of engagement, so we introduced Directors 1-2-1 lunches. Based on a rotation each team member has the opportunity to have a virtual lunch with one of the Directors every month.

#3 Buddy schemes

This is all focused around support: support of one another. We have all felt the effects of Covid and sometimes when it comes to work the only other people that truly understand what you may be going through are your colleagues. We wanted to create a support network for each other – so every other week we encouraged the team to take a virtual lunch or a coffee with their allocated buddy for the week so they can check in on each other. 

#4 Virtual yoga lessons

This is all about wellness of the body and mind, which has proven to be important over the past year. From the start of lockdown in 2020 we teamed up with a fantastic yoga teacher who offers online sessions weekly for people of all levels, and it’s been a fantastically refreshing way for the team to start their mornings.

#5 Weekly team activities

Fun and togetherness are what pioneer this concept. Every week we arrange a different activity for the team where all can get involved. We try to mix it up and make it fun, from cookalongs hosted by team members with exciting (international!) recipes, to game show quizzes, live music games with some of our Marble Music artists, and wellness workshops with external nutritionists.

#6 “The Library”

 This is a place of knowledge and discovery. This has proven a fantastic tool for us during this time. As a company we use the app Slack and we set up a channel where people can exchange books, podcasts, TV and any other recommendations they may have. This could also include goings on in the industry, things people may have found interesting, insights and more. This allows the team to broaden their knowledge or give them things to do they may otherwise have not discovered. 

In addition to those initiatives, we continue to check in with the team and carry out regular pulse surveys and find out what they want to see and experience. 

It’s true to say that our values, when clearly articulated and known to us, give us a set of guiding principles with which to organise and prioritise our business, and our lives. We’ve found that nothing is more important to an employee than being given the opportunity to fully express their values, working with and for people who are on the same page. 

This is something all organisations can do. When was the last time you sat with your team and really asked them to give examples of where the company’s values show up in their own personal lives? Try it – you and your team members will be amazed at the connections created between the two. 

Covid has presented some amazing opportunities for us to become even more creative in bonding us cohesively as a team that works together and plays together. Our biggest focus was on designing an environment that promoted self, care, individual acknowledgement, teamwork and togetherness, growth and learning. We reached out to everyone to ask them what kinds of activities they wanted to experience, what would be joyful, and keep them motivated, inspired, supported and engaged during this unpredictable and very different time.