“There are two reasons I hire football players. Firstly, a football team is made of 11 people. Only one person scores the goal, but they understand that this achievement was a team effort. Secondly, they know that there’s a lot of training that happens leading up to that one moment.”

Metis Marketing Solutions is a paid media company that advertises for companies on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. They are PPC experts and a close partner to Google, hence the colourful beanbags in their bright office space!

Chantelle Bowyer, although not a believer in job titles, is Metis Marketing Solution’s Managing Director. Coming from an engineering background, she looked for a different working environment with more flexibility, the opportunity to work remote, and a fun atmosphere. So, before she even knew what company she was going to build, she knew it was going to be a place where people wanted to be.

Eight years ago, Metis was born. At the time, social media and PPC were not very big, but Chantelle found her niche in providing marketing solutions for smaller companies, which allowed them to compete against the big players in the industry. As one of the first Google Partners in South Africa, Metis began seeing results from clients.

“I love seeing things grow in front of me, whether it be a person or a company. I am result driven and like watching the measurable growth that comes with starting a business.”

What is your take on company culture?

Company culture was not a commonly-used term eight years ago, and the working mindset was very different back then. “Companies were focused on getting as many hours out of their employees, rather than getting results,” Chantelle explained.

The shift of focus to company culture only happened later when Metis started hiring more employees. They became aware of the need for a better way of working with other people on a relationship basis. Chantelle says that “This is when Metis became built on company culture.”

Company culture is also important for the business itself. As a smaller company, it can be difficult to find highly skilled people in the industry, especially when competing with the bigger agencies for recruitment. Having a good company culture should attract staff, and the right staff, and get them to stay.

What are your company values?

At the end of the day, company culture comes down to values. In any kind of relationship, if you have the same values, it’s a relationship that will last and thrive. “That’s why we work well with Outsourced CFO,” Chantelle explained, “because we share many of the same values and there are similarities in how we approach things.”

At Metis, their values come down to a one-liner. “People just want to feel valued. If you can make someone feel valued, you will get the most out of the person.”

The challenge here is finding out what makes someone feel this way, as everyone has their own way of feeling valued. Some feel appreciated by means of praise, some by recognition, and others by autonomy. Chantelle believes that if you can crack this, that is your golden ticket to creating happy employees.

How do you nurture your company culture?

Implementing and maintaining a solid company culture starts with the hiring process. During this process, Metis communicates openly with the potential employee to determine whether or not they are the right fit. Chantelle says, “if I can’t add value to them, then they can’t feel valued.”

Metis ensures to take a personal interest in staff members. They have regular one-on-ones with their employees and always provide an equal platform for employees to share their ideas and opinions. They hold regular team events, and collectively choose a charity to work with each year. To top it off, everyone is involved in decision-making processes regarding the business as a whole.

“It doesn’t matter what their job title is, their opinion counts just as much as the next.”

Even their most junior staff member has the opportunity to head up a team, with the guidance from a senior employee. This is also interlinked with another important value to Metis – training. Chantelle believes that if you take a chance on someone, they will return the favour in the form of loyalty and appreciation. This is why they provide a generous grant to each employee every year, to study something of their choice that will help them improve their skills.

Chantelle laughs, “I forgot we actually do all of these things, because they just become a part of life.”

And this is exactly how it should be. A company’s values and practices should become so instilled in both the people and the company that becomes something of second nature to them.

What drives your company culture?

 “Essentially, every employee has to be a team player. They have to care about the person next to them.”

What it comes down to is respect. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a client, an employee, or a service provider, everyone should be treated the same. This way, the value cycle will happen naturally. Like Richard Branson once said, “if you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.”

Chantelle ends off by saying:

“At the end of the day, it’s about making everyone feel valued, and adding value to their life. That’s what we strive for every day. And that’s why I have to go now, because in 10 minutes time we are hosting a surprise maternity party for Nicole, our general manager.”