Investing in the Team

Andrew Worob is right on target on his blog “Top 5 Ways PR Agencies Can Keep Talented Employees,”– at least from my perspective as an agency owner.

We’ve opted to freeze salaries until we completely get over the economic hump. But we offer some benefits that I believe keep our team engaged in and happy about their work:

Our #ThinkingFit program includes three time weekly group fitness workouts, a company bike for errands and impromptu “need to clear my head” rides around the neighborhood and participation in a Community Supported Agriculture program. We blog about it and recently won an award for our efforts, which made our entire team feel proud.

We allow our team to create their own schedules (our office is open 10 hours a day but everyone picks the eight hours they work) and we close at 3pm on Fridays. Instead of sick and vacation days, everyone has a specific number of personal days that can be used for whatever reason they’d like.

One way we invest in our team is by providing a monetary stipend for professional development. Recently we signed on as a sponsor of a conference that many on our team wanted to attend. We helped promote the conference in exchange for complimentary registration for our team. A value added was a strong feeling of togetherness, which goes a long way in building a team environment.

Cutbacks mean people have to assume more responsibility. When this is framed as “you’re capable” and “this gives you the opportunity to try something new” as opposed to “here’s more work I am piling on to your already full plate,” then your team members will understand that the extra responsibility means they are trusted, valued, and growing in their career. It’s a sincere vote of confidence.

Small ways we say thank you include occasionally buying lunch and sharing coupons for free Chipotle burritos, deeply discounted car washes and other special offers. The little things can go a long way.

I suppose what my comments boil down to is the value of team building. When your team assumes an ownership mentality over the business and over their work, they are invested and less likely to jump ship for a few more pennies in their pockets.

RIPPLe Electronic Communications
Start-Thinking | Kansas: (316) 558-5158 | Colorado: (720) 445-7611

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