Natalie Athanasiadis: “To create a great work culture, get people excited to be at work!”

Get people excited to be at work! We have more distractions than ever now, we need to create a work culture that motivates the majority to want to be there and do amazing things for your business. As a part of my series about about how leaders can create a “fantastic work culture”, I had […]

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Get people excited to be at work! We have more distractions than ever now, we need to create a work culture that motivates the majority to want to be there and do amazing things for your business.

As a part of my series about about how leaders can create a “fantastic work culture”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Athanasiadis. Natalie is the owner and Head of Growth at Ormi Media.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Through my degree in PR I fell in love with the digital side of the industry, then I moved into social media marketing. I had dreams of opening my own agency, where not only were we doing amazing work for our clients, but we would have genuine and strong relationships. After my workplace closed down abruptly it was the perfect opportunity to launch my own agency and I haven’t looked back.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

My business originally began with a different name which was quite limiting and didn’t really encompass our whole vibe as a team. So just a year into the business I decided that rebranding was the best move for us. Of course we were concerned that it could potentially alienate our existing customers, after only being around for a year. However, each client was over the moon for us and agreed with the vision. We are transparent in our activities with customers, they are on this journey with us as much as we are on their growth journey with them. This has been the most heartwarming moment in business to date.

Ok, lets jump to the main part of our interview. According to this study cited in Forbes, more than half of the US workforce is unhappy. Why do you think that number is so high?

If you speak to anyone you know, you will often hear why they are unhappy at work. They are overloaded with tasks, or training isn’t sufficient, perhaps there is job uncertainty. A lot of the time it comes back to a lack of planning and the company’s leadership style. My approach is a collaborative leadership method. If a team member thinks something isn’t working or they found a way to make an improvement I want to hear about it and I encourage my team to talk to me about these things.

Based on your experience or research, how do you think an unhappy workforce will impact a) company productivity b) company profitability c) and employee health and wellbeing?

An unhappy workforce impacts everything in your business you may see it manifest as a lower client retention rate, poor productivity, a lack of creative ideas, slow pace to get tasks done, increased sick days. All of these things make it really difficult for your business to thrive!

Can you share 5 things that managers and executives should be doing to improve their company work culture? Can you give a personal story or example for each?

  1. Reviewing training procedures. We have a set period where we review our procedures, it’s also essential in our industry.
  2. Allowing open and direct feedback. This is something we do all the time, ongoing. We take feedback on projects, client relationships, tools, processes and anything else we can use to constantly stay ahead of the pack.
  3. Ensuring the workloads are appropriate. We monitor how many hours our team puts in to ensure that it’s not overloading them and they stay at their peak happiness and performance.
  4. Give people some flexibility. People work better when they choose to be there for more than just the paycheque.
  5. Get to know the team and build relationships. We found the balance between having great relationships and remaining an authority and leader who can help get the job done. It’s very important!

It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but it seems like we have to “change the culture regarding work culture”. What can we do as a society to make a broader change in the US workforce’s work culture?

Get people excited to be at work! We have more distractions than ever now, we need to create a work culture that motivates the majority to want to be there and do amazing things for your business.

How would you describe your leadership or management style? Can you give us a few examples?

Definitely collaborative leadership style. I work with my team and encourage feedback on tactics, procedures and anything else relating to the agency. I book calls with team members for this specific reason, we have a coffee and discuss various areas relating to their experience. We also hold team calls to collaborate ideas on how we can all work together to achieve longer term business goals. People love contributing to the greater good and it has been incredible for us so far.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My fiancé has been an integral part of this process. From client management, to strategy and any assistance in between he has been a great contributor to our team!

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

At the center of what we do, we provide peace of mind. Many clients have mentioned how they have been able to be worry free about the digital areas of their business because they know we have it handled. That’s quite powerful for business owners, who are often very mentally depleted running their businesses. So in a way we are positively contributing to their quality of life as well as their online marketing success.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” This is a quote from the Rocky movie but it’s one of the main quotes I think about. A lot of people focus on why things aren’t fair or easier. Spend less time dreaming of a utopian world and get up and keep moving forward when you have a setback, it’s the only way to succeed.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think people need to focus on what they’re contributing all around. So what your words contribute, how your attitude and how you carry yourself contributes to the vibe around you etc. Just doing the best you can do and picking kindness always.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you continued success!

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