Working in the ‘creative space’, it can be argued that the HR challenges are similar but it’s how they are handled that will make all the difference! So how can digital agencies ensure they get the best return out of their prized asset – their people? Here’s the 6 HR questions that people driven digital agencies need answering!
Nurturing a creative environment
This is the first HR question that people driven digital agencies need answering. Ensuring that the environment is conducive to allowing employees to be creative without fear of failure or blame. Sounds simple but it is important to note that encouraging employees to try new things possibly going outside of individual and business ‘comfort zones’ is how great ideas are formed. What happens if it goes wrong? Often its human nature to ‘blame’ someone for mistakes but the best way to encourage creativity is to ensure that even mistakes are made, it provides an opportunity to learn.
Reinforcing the company brand
Yes, we have the logo, the colours, the values and the marketing collateral – but as employees how are these reinforced both internally and externally? Is the focus about providing this for clients rather than ensure it is working for your business? What attracts candidates to work for your agency rather than the competition? Is every aspect of the company brand ‘woven’ through the business in terms of the strategy, expected behaviours, reward and recognition? If not, then this should be a priority.
Being an ‘employer of choice’
This means having the right HR framework for your business. What is your business strategy and how will having a team fulfil that and in what way achieve it? If you don’t know, then you will accrue a lot of cost from adding to your headcount without aligning the reasons for doing so to your business goals. If the people strategy does not support the business growth and vice versa, there will come a point when it’s not sustainable, resulting in cost-cutting.
Compliance versus Creativity
Not much of a contest! However, make sure that your HR strategy has the necessary compliance. This includes how you recruit people into your business and manage them to how they leave the business. Employee retention is a continuous challenge and not necessarily one that businesses can deal with most of the time. However, if someone has come into your business, worked hard and contributed and then decided to move on – it may be disruptive initially but let them go positively. This means that they will typically continue to be an advocate of your business and could possibly return again one day.
Manage performance – for all concerned!
Not dealing with performance issues in the hope that it will either resolve itself or just go away is naïve thinking. Alternatively, being overly emotive rather than objective in doing so, possibly utilising ‘strong’ tactics does not help either. The results often being the employee becoming disgruntled and looking for ways to get revenge – may just leave or may leave looking to bring an employment tribunal claim. If the person charged with dealing with the situation does not have the time, inclination or expertise to do so, then work with HR to get a practical and pragmatic solution.
Retention of good staff
This is essential in these interesting times! Replacing staff and/or getting recruitment wrong is expensive. Once you have ‘good people’, the hard work is far from over. The next challenge is keeping those ‘good people’. Typically, this includes offering a career path or opportunities to enable them to develop further. Understand the dynamics of having engaged team members and constantly look to replicate it. Be prepared to manage a diverse workforce on many levels – multiple generations, different cultures and nationalities and multiple personalities. Get this right and it is so rewarding for all concerned.
Enjoyed this post on the HR questions that people driven digital agencies need answering? Got any more questions? Inspired to see how HR can help your digital business? Get in touch with Martine.