In this tough economy, employee training and development is the last thing on your mind.
In fact, how many times have you thought or said to someone, “You should feel lucky to have a job.” Is this the attitude you want to project at your agency? Fearful of the future, you may feel reluctant to add more staff even if new projects, client work, and prospects are on the horizon. Your employees, also fearful, are hanging onto their jobs with every ounce of strength even if they are unhappy. You may have even resorted to more cost-saving strategies by cutting your own pay, eliminating perks, and slashing operating costs trying to squeeze every nickel out of your budget.
During this fallow period, however, you must never lose sight of the critical role employee development plays for an agency—especially YOUR agency.
Eventually, and we’re starting to see some signs now, the economy will rebound. And then many, many people will leave their jobs in the hopes of greener pastures, to improve their reel, to find better benefits or better pay. Or they may leave just to help them forget the unhappy past at your agency and move on…
But, with the right planning and foresight, this does not need to happen to your marketing firm.
There are some practical strategies for building continued morale, engagement, and growth for times good and bad. How?
5 Leadership Strategies To Transform Your Firm
1. Stress open and frequent communication:
- Be sure to hold effective agency meetings, briefings and update sessions
- Schedule regular Q&A’s with groups and departments
- Simple and consistent works better than complex and infrequent (KISS)
- Recognize positive movement
- Identify quick wins and implement them NOW!
- Look for opportunities to help solve issues
- Share good news with everyone
2. Take strong action that directly impacts agency morale:
- Celebrate the work and the people behind the work
- Select great plans, creative ideas, strategies and showcase them
- Look outside the agency for trends and hold round-robin learning sessions
- Provide training to introduce new competency requirements
- Recognize extra effort spent
- Provide support and offer rewards (simple non-monetary works well)
3. Enlist your up-and-coming leaders. Possible roles and responsibilities include:
- Facilitating the day-to-day direction of agency projects
- Meeting the goals for the client, agency, and individuals
- Coordinating training and development programs for staff
- Monitoring overall budget/profit & loss for the client
- Facilitating communication between departments and leaders
- Calling and facilitating meetings
- Forecasting material, human, and technical resource requirements relative to projected workloads
4. Deploy cross-functional teams to work on achieving agency goals and specific, longer term issues:
- Streamline your processes and workflow
- Implement new technology/social media to promote your agency
- Discover new ways, new tools, new resources to train employees
- Revisit your performance criteria and incentives ensuring they are inline with your brand and operational strategy
- Redesign your space and facilities – think about workflow, logistics, and never forget the importance of setting up a powerful tour
5. And finally, treat everyone with respect and honesty. They won’t forget that.
Strong Leadership Transforms Your Staff
If agencies want to move from client conference rooms to client boardrooms, then major shifts are needed. Essentially agencies must shift from worrying about ads to worrying about the client’s business. Give us a call to see how focusing on skill development and leadership can transform your firm from talking about advertising to talking about strategies that drive business. This shift transforms the agency from a marketing communication vendor to trusted advisor with an honored place in the boardroom. But it all starts with leadership. This isn’t about looking at old problems from the same angle. We offer a fresh perspective and new ways to improve your agency’s performance with clients.Photo by *xOxChrystalxOx