Engaging employees with a ‘Nod’ to internal communications

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Northern Commerce has been a major player in the London digital agency industry since 2015. In just four years, it’s experienced exponential growth and has gone from working with small- and medium-sized businesses to enterprise-level organizations. While growth is always good, it came with its own challenges, such as how to facilitate internal communications, collaboration, and employee engagement with a rapidly growing team and client base.

“Our industry and Northern, in particular, thrives on collaboration, creativity, and strong company culture,” says company President, Mike DeLorenzi. “We’ve crafted and implemented strategies that foster personal development, recognition, transparency, and community impact to keep our employees engaged and motivated.”

For Northern, company culture is more than team outings and perks (while there is no shortage of those) – it’s about aligning employee and company values, investing in employee development, and recognizing accomplishments in meaningful ways. Communication tools, collaborative internal processes, and ongoing leadership development has resulted in a dynamic company culture that drives innovation in a rapidly changing digital industry.

Recognizing employees as part of company culture

With a swiftly expanding team and an increasing need to keep employees motivated and engaged in the workplace, Northern introduced Northern Nods in 2019. The goal of the Northern Nods program is to recognize and reward employees for all their hard work, which in turn improves employee satisfaction, retention, and morale. The recipient of the Nod receives a personalized card with a small gift and all Nods recipients are formally recognized with the entire company at the end of every month. Since adopting these processes, employees have reported feeling more connected to the company and are more invested in how they communicate and work collaboratively.

“Our employees have really embraced the program and we are seeing the goals of the program realized. Team members are feeling valued and appreciated and are publicly recognized for going above and beyond,” says Director of Human Resources, Samantha Courneya. “It’s really changed how we all work together and has brought us closer as a team, making us work more cohesively.”

Most recently, the entire team at Northern participated in defining the company’s core values through a series of collaborative workshops. In these workshops, each individual provided insight into what it means to be a “Northerner” and described the values fueling the company. The results shaped a meaningful set of core values for each member of the team to use as a compass and guide the path in everything they do, as an individual contributor and for the company as a whole.

Helping employees grow, from the inside and out

These processes, among others, live within their in-house agency management system Enspire. This system acts as a central hub for all projects, processes, and internal communications to better facilitate cross-department communication and collaboration. This also includes personal and professional development resources and workshops – like Northern’s NTalk workshops and open-forum Q&A sessions with Northern’s leadership team—to help employees grow within the company and outside of it too. Northern’s strong community of employees has thrived on the culture created by fluid internal communications, rewards for hard work, and continuous learning opportunities. All of this has evolved into a powerful work environment with high employee morale and satisfaction.

Finely-tuned communication is a strong backbone of Northern’s business externally with clients and internally with employees. After all, studies show that a happier, more engaged employee is more likely to adopt new company policies and initiatives. Northern has seen much success stemming from engaged and passionate employees through meaningful communication and collaboration, resulting in award-winning projects. Whether it’s cross-departmental collaboration or pitching ambitious solutions to clients, Northern could have never achieved the success it has without the solid foundation of communication.

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