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How We Keep it Tight: Red Branch Media Company Culture

By Kerry Pivovar:

Left alone for too long and the company culture you worked so hard to build can start to chip away. Little by little, your team chemistry goes down, issues become problems and moods start to shift.

A culture strategy, whether it be for retention, employer branding or engagement (or all three) is sometimes the first thing to let fall by the wayside when deadlines get near and business gets busy. Here are the five out-of-the-box methods we employ to keep our culture from turning into stale bread.

“Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.”

– Brian Chesky, Co-Founder, CEO, Airbnb

Weekly Contests

We’ve recently instituted a weekly contest, which makes our more competitive employee’s mouth water. Each week, employees are tasked with building, creating, writing or strategizing something that will help with client deliverables while expanding our knowledge.

Whether it be to make a landing page, experiment with a new tool or think of an ad campaign, each team member has the week to work on their submission. Not only does the winner get a $25 gift certificate, but the branch is loaded with 15+ pieces of content (or pages or ideas etc.) which can be used throughout the upcoming weeks. Win, win!

Has your culture gone bad? Defrost your #EmployeeEngagement with our top 5 tips to re-invigorate your employees. Click To Tweet

Brancher Bite: “The contest is a way to learn or try something new I haven’t had to use before. It spreads the wealth of knowledge throughout the branch and opens us up to new tools and processes. And, winning money doesn’t hurt.”

Did you know? Businesses with a strong learning culture enjoy employee engagement and retention rates around 30-50% higher than those that don’t.


Have a light afternoon? Pull the team together for a game of Work Pictionary. All topics are work-based meaning we have items like “Email Automation Workflow,” “Buyer Personas” and “SEMRush” as phrases to draw on our full-length chalkboard. It’s underrated how funny trying to draw out your work can be.

Brancher Bite: “Some of the team members emerged as actual pictionary topics. Trying to draw the employee based off of what they did at work was hilarious. One of the best days we’ve had in a while!”

Read more: The Pros of Working at a Small Business

New Brancher Trivia

Onboarding is not complete until the brancher has been christened with trivia. When new employees come, we host a trivia game based on their interests and fun facts as a way for the existing team members to learn about them.

We split the staff into two teams (keeping score, of course) and ask a series of questions based off a random questionnaire previously sent to the new branchers. New employees are exposed to the entire team (with a focus on them) and current employees have a chance to meet & bond in an easygoing setting.

Contests, trivia and custom playlists help recharge the team. Learn how @RedBranch keeps #CompanyCulture tight. Click To Tweet

Brancher Bite: “With a growing staff, it’s hard to connect to every person in each department. New Brancher Trivia gives me instant conversation starters about their unique interests to help bond.”

Read more: Benefits that Blow

Custom Mug

This one we’ve been doing since day one. Each company and industry has its own lexicon of words, abbreviations and phrases used. Whether about actual work-related things, or totally random. So, we print these phrases on mugs and order them.

About once a year, each employee submits their phrase to be printed on a white mug. We keep a shared google doc of proposed phrases like “Kiss My Ads”, “Did it for the logo,” “Bye Felicia,” “Where’s The Password List?,” “Pitch Please,” and “Blog So Hard” to ensure no quality sayings are forgotten. This exercise reinforces our company culture and our shared experiences as a company.

Brancher Bite: “I love my work mug. I’ve had mine for three years now and cherish it. It reminds me of where I was and how far I’ve come.”

Read more: How to improve employee engagement infographic

Spotify Playlists

We work on our computers. Meaning the office is filled with a lot of silence and keyboard taps. In order to make the office less awkward for visitors, we play Spotify on a speaker throughout the office. In the beginning, we had a few grumblings with intergenerational picks, so we started curating our own.

Every month, we create a playlist based on a specific theme and open it up to the class for everyone to add to it any song they want. Not a life-changing operation, but still a way for creating something new and fresh content for anyone to enjoy.

Brancher Bite: “It’s fun to see what people choose as their songs for that month. Makes me listen to new music I haven’t experienced before, and I can learn who is a sneaky country like me!”

Read more: #NowPlaying Music for the Multigenerational Office Playlist

Doing the Most

“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel.”

–Sybil F. Stershic

We love and cultivate our culture here so it never has a chance to wither away. We see every week how much of an impact on team bonding, shared experiences and a common goal can have on engagement and frankly productivity.

Company culture isn’t just for your team page. It’s for your leaders and your team. Take the extra step for your employees and watch them take the extra step for you in return.

Brancher Bite: “One of the best things about Red Branch, maybe the best, is how much of a family we are. Dysfunctional at times, super random at others, but in the end, I am constantly amazed at how much I care for my company and how much they care for me.”

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