Monday, July 02, 2012

The Belonging Sessions 003: Mike Germano of Carrot Creative

Carrot Creative was the first full-service agency specializing in social media strategy, design and development.

I sat down with Mike Germano, CEO and Co-Founder, and posed three crucial questions about belonging:

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

Carrot Creative spends more time on company culture than on clients. Our employee avatars, for example, are badges of honor. Unlike uniforms that suppress individuality, these cartoons actually represent people’s styles. Also, we broke down every part of our company culture and assigned an employee to take ownership of it. We have committees for everything: Welcoming new talent, after hours events, even beer. It’s how we give face to each component of our organization. That’s why people want to join us.

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

We’re the one company that lists everybody who works for us, what they do and where to find them on social media. Forget about employees being stolen. My job isn’t to hide my people – it’s to build an awesome culture that allows great work to happen. Besides, if people do leave, we have an alumni committee. We even retire employees’ numbers on the wall. Not because they used to work here, but because they did something great here. That way, we’re constantly talking about and connecting to former talent. That dramatically reduced our turnover rate. We’ve only had one person leave in the past two years.      

3. Belonging is a basic human craving. What do you to remind employees that they've found a home?

We’re not a startup. We’re not an agency. We’re a hybrid. Even at the origin of our organization, we never listened to anybody. We built this company as the ideal place that we would want to work. And so far, we’ve been right. We attract top talent, which attracts top clients. The coolest room in our office is the one with the family tree wall. It has pictures of employee, both current and past. And it’s a visual reminder that everyone belongs to our family. Especially in a city where you fight so hard to be cool and hip, this group of nerds wants you to be yourself. We’ve created a workplace where your craziness and uniqueness will be embraced.  

Thanks Mike!

Meet the Carrot Creative team here.