Building an Award-Winning Workplace Culture: Behind the Policies

I’m still in amazement that Jordan Digital Marketing was named a finalist for the 2023 Google Premier Partner Workplace Excellence award. We’re six years old, we’re remote (proudly!), and we’re barely more than 30 people, which is at least 10x smaller than every other finalist.

But this isn’t going to be a humblebrag – I’m going to be right up front in saying that a lot of work from every member of the team went into this honor, which is based on being an inclusive company that walks the walk on DEI. The JDM culture depends heavily on employee feedback and insight – we ask for it, our team delivers it with generosity and candor, and we make sure to act on it to the best of our ability.

In this post, I’ll look at a few of the policies that JDM stands by that helped us get here – and how those policies came to be.

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1. Remote-first, remote-always

Why we stand by it: JDM was founded on the desire to work with great talent, regardless of location. We have employees in 14 states (and counting) and are able to find and attract talent in large part because of our remote first policy.

Why it matters: The ability to work remotely increases employee happiness by as much as 20%. (That’s not even not mentioning the workforce population whose only real option for work is working remotely.) In contrast, employees who go into the office have to: spend more money on transportation, spend more time away from their personal life, and coordinate childcare, pet care, and elder care. 

2. Unlimited PTO and flexible scheduling

Why we stand by it: Happy employees are productive employees. Everyone talks about work-life balance, but what does that look like in practice? For us at JDM, it means taking your dog for a walk during the day, picking up our children from school, booking (and taking!) that week-long vacation, or maybe hitting the gym to combat that post-lunch slump.

Why it matters: The past few years we’ve seen the great resignation, quiet quitting, and employee burnout on the rise. JDM’s unlimited PTO and flexible scheduling have allowed employees time to rest, have personal lives, go on vacation, and live a more balanced life.

3. Radical transparency (including salary ranges)

Why we stand by it: At JDM, every interaction and policy is viewed through the lens of radical transparency. We strive to ensure that expectations of the role are clear, the interview process is well-defined and explained early on in the process, career paths are defined and communicated from Day 1 on the job, employees receive regular and direct feedback, and yes, we make sure to include salary ranges on all job postings, not just in states that require it. 

Why it matters: One of the key components of culture is trust. If leaders are radically transparent with employees, they know what to expect from the company, which sets a solid foundation for trust. When there is a mutually beneficial relationship based on trust, employees are empowered to do great work.

4. DEI best practices in hiring

Why we stand by it: We believe that a diverse workforce is one of the company’s biggest assets. The company intentionally created an interview process to eliminate as much bias as possible - stating that degrees weren’t required to apply, taking on a performance-based hiring approach, using technology to enable closed captioning, and instituting a cameras-off policy for the initial screening. 

Why it matters: Studies show that businesses with higher diversity outperform their peers. We are proud to say that women hold 77% of overall positions, 83% of management positions, and 60% of leadership positions at the company. We’ve made a lot of progress in the past few years, and we’re excited to see more changes enacted in the near future.

The personal kicker for me is that I came to JDM a little over two years ago precisely because it seemed like the kind of company that would enable me, a military spouse who might have to pick up and move with little notice, to build a career. Today, I can say with an absurd amount of pride that my instinct was right, and we’re going to work to make sure current and future JDMers can say the exact same thing for a long time.

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