It’s just a fun bit of PR. A nice little trinket, nothing more. It doesn’t mean anything, right?

We learned last week that we’ve been included in Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of the Best Places to Work. It might be one of the most meaningful things we’ve ever done.

As a Change Marketing™ partner to a diverse range of big, powerful companies, we have to practice what we preach. Change Marketing™ is a process designed around a simple philosophy we call People First – that every organization should be built around its employees and work hard to involve them through every change initiative. Unfortunately, most companies don’t work this way.

Even pre-Covid, work was pretty broken. In 2017, Gallup found that more than two-thirds of people are “disengaged” in their jobs. The thing we spend half our waking lives doing makes most of us miserable. That’s not only crushingly sad, it’s also expensive. Disengagement costs US businesses half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity, and companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 250%.

So being a good place to work is good for business. And we are growing because of it.

Beyond growth, there’s something bigger at play here. Humanity. The inputs for these kinds of awards come from our people. How they feel about us makes us who we are. For leaders, culture is best described as what happens when you’re not looking. We weren’t looking when they shared how they felt about working at LOCAL and put us on this list.

That this all happened in the middle of a global pandemic, through the filter of a lockdown and a powerful movement for social justice deepens the meaning again. Strong culture acts like an immune system, keeping a company healthy no matter what life throws at it. 

At LOCAL, our culture has kept us together even when we’re not able to see each other. And we are stronger because of it.

We are not just growing this year. We are also building. A new space in historic Edgewood for our people, our clients, and our community to gather. It’s not an office, not anymore. It’s a physical space to strengthen our culture, with new behaviors and technology embedded to keep everyone safe and thriving. Our hope is to create one of Atlanta’s best places to gather, safely. 

Being one of Atlanta’s Best Places to Work is a lead indicator for growth to come. As we enter the next chapter of LOCAL, it tells us clearly that our culture is our success. We have more to do, particularly in deepening our relationships with our community but, right here, right now, it’s a strong signal of our intent.

We are LOCAL. A proud Atlanta-built Change Marketing™ company and one of the best places to work in our city. Now that means something.

Neil Bedwell

Author Neil Bedwell

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