In the past couple of months, we’ve devoted a lot of space discussing the urgent need to find and keep top agency talent. Your agency has plenty at stake as demand ramps up post pandemic. Clients are coming out of the woodwork, and there are projects aplenty for a well-run, organized agency that knows how to match the right people to each effort. Of course, that presumes that you have the right people at the ready, and the way things have been lately, leadership at any enlightened agency knows they need to do whatever’s possible to keep the best people in their bullpen.
As we’ve discussed, compensation is just the start of that conversation. Employees are looking for other perks as well, notably schedule flexibility, personal growth and training options, and diverse, inclusive work environments. And another intriguing area of attention has come to the forefront in terms of what your creative, managerial, and administrative talent wants in this new work landscape: agency workspace.
The environment in which your people operate has taken on a new level of significance over the past few years. Sure, ad and marketing agencies have tended to embrace a more unstructured, easy-going style. Some shops love the “no ties & Levis” vibe. Others still have a suit-and-tie formality that many employees actually appreciate — just don’t take away Casual Friday, right? What’s best for your shop’s sensibility and aesthetic? Only your executive team can best answer that question, but it’s worth it to take some time to make an informed decision.
Accelerate Agency Operations: The Definitive Roadmap for Long-Term Success
See page 10 to learn how to build a culture that attracts top talent.
Employees Now Think of Where They Work as a Destination
It’s irrefutable that today’s talent likes the hybrid work environment. More and more people want to work remotely, coming into the “home office” a couple of times a week, tops. That should surely shape the type and even the size of the space your company provides. Maybe an open floor plan with flexible workstation access and a good coffee maker does the trick. If you are requiring your people to be on-site more often than not, you may want to invest in creating an environment that’s compelling to be in and is conducive to being productive. What that looks like is your call, but bringing back the foosball, pinball, or pool table might make sense. Some shops take extra steps to offer well-stocked pantries with plenty of good snacks and beverages so the workforce sticks around. There are even those with mini-meditation rooms, on-site gyms, and weekly visits from a local masseuse.
If that sounds too indulgent (is this an office or a cruise ship?) your decision to be more buttoned-down might need to be offset by being more forgiving in your flex-time policies. Either way, you have to accept that people now think of where they work as a destination as much as it is a location. If they have to be there, make it a place where they show up gladly. If they don’t, it can be more traditional. Of course, your culture may allow you to go for that clubhouse vibe and also permit remote work, just be prepared to put in collaboration, communication, and productivity tracking infrastructure that helps keep everyone on task. Truth be told, those are good things to have at any agency, so talk to your people, decide what kind of space and on-site expectations works best for your shop, and invest accordingly. It’s sure to have a positive impact on morale, productivity, and your agency’s bottom line.
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