The First Rule of Team Code is Always Talk About Team Code
By: Amy Brown

Back in December we were tasked with creating a Team Code. Something that ensured we continued to grow as a team, as an agency, and something we could all relate to and use everyday. After all, with Forbes 2016 rating our jobs as the fifth most stressful career around, we felt it was important to put something in place to make sure we don’t take those pressures out on each other and to prevent us feeling like we’re working alone.


Here at Rapport, we use our team code to inspire a positive change both individually and as a team. This blog is all about giving you an insight into what we’ve included in our team code and why it’s important and unique to us.


As a small team that works on a variety of projects, we each have varying peaks and troughs on our individual workload. This often means that there'll be times when you’re meeting yourself coming backwards! With this in mind, it’s important to Shout For Help and Shout To Help. Nobody should feel overwhelmed, so we all work together to make sure we help each other out when it's needed.


Technology is a wonderful thing and with such amazing advancements our jobs can become easier – we can even connect with people all over the world. Take our epic 14th April Live TV broadcast as an example (see Abi’s blog for more on that brilliant project). For that project alone our Slack channel saw over 7300 messages sent over the course of three days. And that's the next part of our code: Don’t Be Slack At Communication. A little conversation goes a long way towards creating a better and more open team.


This even extends in to our morning coffee round. It's an important start to the day, plus it’s when we discuss the latest Netflix obsession or something cool that’s appeared in the Northern Quarter. When everyone’s stacked it's easy to forget the small things that make us such a brilliant team, so that’s why a simple Hello, Goodbye & Thank You goes a long way. It doesn’t matter how busy we are, we take a little time to take an interest in the lives of people we work with.


You may have noticed we are a light-hearted bunch at Rapport. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. And as a creative agency, a little bit of silliness goes hand in hand with our light hearted nature. Here’s where our next code comes in, we don’t like a Fun Sponge - No one soaking up that joy we find in photo shopping pictures of each other or seeing how many mince pies we can eat in a minute. Having fun helps the team thrive and keeps a positive atmosphere.


Of course, it isn’t always fun & games (we wish it was, particularly bowls). We do actually work. And when you’re up against the clock you pressure can mount and tension can rise. So, it’s really important that following a stimulus we make space before responding. We’ve all been there and said something, or reacted in a way we definitely didn’t mean to. So if we just need to make a brew, or take a walk around the block, it’s okay to Take 5.


That kind of leads us to next the part of the code - Uncle Fester. Remember him? The hairless, hunched, barrel-shaped man with dark, sunken eyes and deranged smile – he's the embodiment of what we don't want festering around the office! Rather than walking around with light bulbs in our mouths, we make sure we don’t let issues or problems spiral. We talk about them. We prefer our light bulbs above our heads, pinging brightly with ideas. And that's another part of the code. Anyone can have ideas. We Love All Ideas. We don’t shoot anyone down for sharing. If we did, we'd never have gotten the beer fridge!


Speaking of our much-loved beer fridge, we love a Friday 4pm when we pop the Prosseco and Peroni. And not just because we are a bunch of lushes (we are a bit) but because it gives us opportunity to look back at the week and Celebrate Success. To us, success comes in many forms, whether it’s a successful event, a pitch win or even a personal achievement for one of the team. We take the time to make sure that we celebrate these on going successes, together as one!


We genuinely use our team code on a day-to-day basis. It has had such a positive impact on our culture and it’s something we’re all super proud of. It helps us to grow, to work together as a team more effectively, and enables us to always #BeBetter.


Categories: Culture