My company is three years old; I’ve grown our turnover considerably since the company was launched and I’ve invested time and resources to ensure we’ve appointed the right people with the right blend of experience and talent. I’m a strong believer in fostering a friendly and open working environment and want my team to genuinely enjoy working for me. Now that I’ve got a great team around me how do I continue to get the best out of them?
A. David Poole answers:
"You need to help your staff develop both professionally and personally. Most people thrive on opportunity and the best employers will take the time to understand and align an individual’s personal interests and ambitions with those of the company. That way each person can find their own level and excel on their terms.
Getting the right work/life balance is essential for great employee motivation. By really looking at what your employee benefit package is offering your staff and tailoring it to their and your company’s needs and interests, you can lay the foundations for a well motivated team who are eager to succeed in all areas of life, and create a great atmosphere in the workplace. Rather than look at the latest trends and range of initiatives being offered within the industry, be true to your own ideals and beliefs.
Our focus has always been to reflect the ethos of the agency and the people in it. Couple this with a personal touch, encourage openness, celebrate everyone’s success and stamp out the office politicians who will undermine all your good work if you let them.
At Life we believe that a bold and ambitious approach will attract and encourage bold, ambitious individuals. Our vision is built on the premise that everyone should strive for professional and personal success and our benefits reflect this premise - from our bespoke leadership training for all employees, to an individual Life skills training allowance and our agency-wide ‘giving something back’ initiative. We believe the right employee benefits are the key to helping our team realise their ambitions, both in life and at work and are what helps us grow a team of unique individuals.
In a small company it’s important that your approach to employee engagement avoids stifling process and should not feel too ‘HR-ified’. Your initiatives should nurture and celebrate the diversity and creativity of your staff.
For example, at Life everyone receives an annual bursary of £150 to learn something new, whether it’s taking skiing lessons or learning Capoeira dancing, it’s designed to celebrate the individual. Finally do something special at least once a year. This year we took 45 people skiing for the weekend. It’s amazing what that means to our people."
David Poole is founder and managing director at integrated marketing agency LIFE Agency, which recently won the Best Development of Agency Talent award at the MAA Best Awards.