Agency work is a highly competitive field. To be considered the best you have to be constantly pushing, striving for excellence and staying on top of changes, trends and new business.
One of the most overlooked ways of making sure that your agency is known as the best in the business is by ensuring that you are getting the best out of your agency staff.
Recruiting the best talent
Start at the very beginning. To make sure you are getting the best from your agency team you want to make sure that you are hiring the very best that there is.
Talented, dedicated people are always in high demand. Make sure that your company shows itself to the best of its ability. Managing your reputation will be one of the key ways that you prove what a desirable place your organisation is to work.
We put together an in-depth blog post of how to attract, recruit and retain great agency staff. This will be the first step in ensuring that your team is the best that it can be.
Sharing your agency’s mission and values
Shared mission and values are at the core of motivating your agency staff. It’s easy to share this when recruiting. But as projects become bigger, more complex, and with more tasks to juggle, it’s easy to lose sight of why you do what you do.
A boost in morale can often come in the form of a whole team meeting, where management reaffirms core agency goals, beliefs and values.
A shared goal, that all team members buy into is an effective way of feeling like a team. Comradeship will help your teams communicate with each other more effectively, and rise above other agencies.
Your core mission and values are what set you apart from other organisations, so make sure to reiterate them often.
Foster the art of process-driven mapping
We find that in many agencies ‘processes’ has become somewhat of a buzzword. We all know that processes are the intricate craft of what makes an agency a smooth well-running machine.
But time and time again, when we speak to agency staff we find that either the teams are unhappy with the processes in place or they just don’t understand them.
It is important that all team members are familiar with agency processes and that the process is followed.
A brief is an invaluable record of what the client has asked of you and ultimately what you are being paid to deliver. Often a client brief will need to be translated (aka re-written) into an internal briefing document that not only inspires creativity, but also determines the scope, the deliverables and the budget.
The quality of the brief determines the quality of work delivered and the art of writing a solid brief is a skill that can takes years to develop. Define what a great brief looks like in your agency and teach staff how to write them. Be specific, create a template that answers all of the questions each team working on it may have and incorporate an internal review and approval process so junior team members can learn.
Once you have an established team of excellent staff members and have defined your agency processes, it is important to have the systems in place to enable your team to deliver to your expectations.
Utilising a centralised management system cuts through the noise of having to deal with multiple systems and internal processes.
Standardising the way you quote, schedule resources, invoice and manage jobs across teams means staff can concentrate on delivering great work on time and budget, and less time doing unbillable administrative tasks.
Identify potential problems early
Whilst all projects start with the best of intentions, we all know that occasionally issues can arise.
Anticipating what these might be in advance will give you important foresight. When you’re taking the time to record all of your agency work in a cohesive management system, it will give you useful information from your previous project work.
You can easily pull information from similar clients on the tasks that took longer than anticipated, where was there budget overspend, where did you need to reassign staff? Or whether you had to re-scope the project half-way through your timeline?
Assessing past agency work will help you plan effectively for any issues that might crop up. Communicating these with your staff will put you on the road to making sure that you are getting the best out of them.
Using an effective centralised agency management system allows you phenomenal oversight of project scope but it will also allow you to see where your staff are hitting high notes and where they are falling short.
Upskilling is an important tool in helping your agency staff to blossom. Knowing who needs assistance where and when will allow you to help your agency staff to grow.
Investing in upskilling your staff tells them that you not only care about the work that they are producing but that you care about them.
You care about their personal development and their place within the company. This is a hugely motivating experience and will push teams to produce the best work possible.
There’s nothing worse than working on several different projects at once to be told that every single one of them is a priority.
Managers using a centralised agency management system will be able to have a succinct overview of the entire company’s work. Which means that understanding and communicating priorities can be a smoother, easier process.
Providing strategic insights
A common issue that we see within agency teams is that even when processes are being correctly followed, they are not being used to inform long-term strategy. Even worse the insights that an agency management tool offers are not being communicated to your wider team.
Strategic insights are essential to your agency’s growth. Failing to communicate when and where projects are meeting goals or falling behind is a surefire way for your staff to become disheartened and unmotivated.
Communication is an indispensable way to boost morale. Using the strategic insights that your agency management system offers will streamline the planning process.
Imparting what, why and when will create a happy team. A happy team produces much better work.
Staying on top of industry trends
When you’re juggling several projects at once it can be easy to get rooted in the minutiae of agency work. Planning, delivering and reporting on your day to day projects means it can be easy to miss updates to industry practises or changes in creative trends.
Ensure your team stays up-to-date by keeping an eye on award winners, newsmakers and industry leaders to make sure you’re producing the best creative results.
Using a variety of overcomplicated systems can be a huge burden on agency staff. We can help streamline your process into one consolidated system and deliver a unique workshop to ensure everyone on the team knows fully how and why to use them.