By Laura Van Eperen, CEO, Van Eperen

The topic of workplace culture is hot these days, especially for communications companies as we traditionally have been at the forefront in this area. Aren’t we the leader in the concept of Summer Fridays?

Employee recognition and engagement firm O.C. Tanner recently released the findings of a comprehensive international study revealing the fundamental building blocks for any successful culture. The study illustrates that the six key aspects most meaningful to employees are purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, well-being and leadership.

Tanner found that there’s a lot of work to do as 40 percent of the 10,000 employees surveyed think their organization only cares about its profits, 42 percent believe their accomplishments go unnoticed and 35 percent do not trust senior leadership at their organization, among many other stats showing their dissatisfaction. Organizations often try to force loyalty and engagement upon their employees and instead should focus on creating a culture where employees want to come, choose to engage and desire to stay, according to the study’s authors.

I’ve been operating Van Eperen, a Capitol Communicator sponsor and creative communication consulting firm in Maryland, for 13 years. One thing I’ve learned as a business owner is that my firm is better as a business when we care and feed for each other as a staff. Someone recently reminded me of our long list of perks that help to build our culture and ensure we care for our Van Eperen work family. Here’s the list…

  • We get out of the office and have fun, like our recent afternoon at a local bowling alley. (Zach won on style points!)
  • We promote leading and attending professional development opportunities (to stay on top of trends).
  • We break bread together. We order in. We go out. We keep the fridge stocked.
  • We access the latest tools in the communications profession (and there are plenty!).
  • We collaborate. We bounce ideas off our fellow high-achieving, fun, fast-moving PR, social media, advertising, and marketing teammates.
  • Did I mention we like food? High likelihood of finding us at Whole Foods, Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack. Anyone coming aboard Van Eperen should like good Maryland eats.
  • We balance our food obsession with a weekly health focus, including Wellness Wednesdays…. we stroll down the Inner Harbor or the Bethesda Trolley Trail.
  • Our cool Baltimore office (some say it looks like Twitter’s offices in NY) offers its own set of benefits, from shuffle board to a beer garden and to a music venue right outside our front doors.
  • We shine the light on one another’s successes via our “PRops” box.
  • We recognize that family comes first, so we understand the work/life balance and will work with our teammates so they can take as much time off as they need.
  • Boundless opportunities to engage and give back to area non-profits which are changing the world for the better (my personal fave: Make-A-Wish, Mid-Atlantic Foundation).

I know I’m biased, but our shop is a great place to have fun while contributing meaningful communications to the world. Consider joining the Van Eperen team on your professional life journey…Careers@VanEperen.com.

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