The Belonging Sessions 002: AJ Lawrence from The Jar Group

The Jar Group is a data-driven agency of internet enthusiasts who produce
integrated marketing strategies and happy clients. They were named on
the Inc. 500 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies and Linkshare’s 2010
Agency of the Year.                      

I sat down with President AJ Lawrence, and posed three
crucial questions about employee belonging:

1. Good
brands are bought, but great brands are joined. Why do you think employees join yours?

For a large company, part of the tradeoff is security. Their
culture is secondary to increasing profit. For us, we provide our clients with
high quality work, but never at the expense of a great working environment.
After all, the work we do is strange. Not everyone can divide their minds into
five different areas at the same time, so we have to have a workplace that’s
worthwhile and enjoyable.                       

2. The
great workplaces of the world have soul. What do you do to humanize your culture? 

Companies can too easily get caught up in archetype language
that nobody understands. For us, we don’t have a simple, pithy answer to that
kind question. Our mantra is simply something we live. It’s work. We don’t hire
assholes. We make clients money, we don’t just get them press. And it’s more
than making clients feel good, it’s making them look like heroes. That’s how we
get more work.                           

3. Belonging
is a basic human craving. How do you
remind employees that they’ve found a home?

It’s not about reminding, it’s about engaging. We have team
lunches on Thursdays. Cocktail hours at the end of the workday. We take field trips to Coney Island together. And we’re clear on what we’re trying to achieve and what we expect of people. Too many agencies put efforts on long terms employees or rising stars, but why create a culture where there are tiers of people? We’re hiring the people we want to be here because they can help us do more cool stuff. And cool stuff might mean more work, but that’s part of the fun.

Thanks AJ!

Meet the The Jar Group team here.


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