Digital agencies are at the forefront of the ever-evolving digital landscape. A great culture and people strategy can be a key differentiator for a digital agency.
Running a business while keeping its internal world healthy and balanced is the mark of a truly exceptional agency. In this guide, we’ll look at some tips for creating (and sustaining) a healthy approach to people and company culture for improved workflow and employee wellbeing.
Let’s kick things off by going through a good old do’s and don’ts list. First up, we’ll be taking a closer look at the do’s – what can your agency do to enhance its social culture and provide people with the tools and support they need to thrive?
These five are all good places to start.
- Foster A Collaborative And Inclusive Culture Where Everyone Has A Voice
It is vitally important that every team member feels recognised, valued, and included in your agency. Collaboration and inclusivity foster employee engagement and encourage people to feel respected and appreciated for their contributions at work.
Collaboration is also a symptom of a healthy, functioning workplace. When people feel like they have a place and a voice, they tend to cooperate better and put more effort into team projects.
- Encourage A Learning Mindset And Invest In The Professional Development Of Employees
No matter how educated or experienced you are, there’s always something more to learn. And leaning into this mindset can make your team more resilient, creative, and innovative.
You can create an environment that promotes continuous learning by investing in training programs, tools, and opportunities that further employee’s personal and professional growth.
- Celebrate Successes And Recognise Good Work
People don’t stop needing positive affirmation for hard work when they grow up. But judging how seldom success is celebrated in the corporate world, you’d think they did. Break the cycle of withholding praise by showing gratitude and appreciation for good efforts.
- Prioritise Work-Life Balance And Promote Mental Health And Wellbeing Initiatives
Everyone feels burned out from time to time. Both mental and physical health can be difficult to take care of when you’re constantly on the go, especially in a fast-paced profession like digital marketing. But that’s exactly why agencies need to show support for their employees.
Make it easy for employees to prioritise their wellbeing through providing health-focused insurance benefits, making work hours flexible, and hosting wellbeing initiatives.
- Ensure A Diverse And Inclusive Workplace Where All Employees Feel Valued
Studies undeniably show that diverse, inclusive workplaces are happier, more productive, and more creative. Feeling valid and valued for your contributions at work can inspire you to work harder, think more creatively, and be a better team player in your workplace.
Emphasise the importance of a diverse, inclusive workplace by providing platforms for people of all demographics to feel heard and respected. Embrace cultural dynamism for a more functional and empathic workplace – and most of all, lead by example.
In addition to committing to some best practices for nurturing the people and culture within your agency, it’s important to also gain clarity around common pitfalls.
All workplaces have their shortcomings, but it’s how you deal with them often matters most. You can mitigate dysfunction and prevent unhealthy workplace dynamics by not doing the items on this important list of agency “don’ts”:
- Allow A Toxic Work Environment To Develop
If it becomes apparent that there is a person, system, policy, or even a client that is bringing your workplace morale down, stop it in its tracks.
Toxic work environments tend to spiral when not regulating, leaving you with a much bigger problem the longer you ignore it. Don’t let that happen. Address issues as they arise and take complaints or concerns seriously when employees voice them.
- Micromanage Employees
Nobody likes being micromanaged – much less seasoned professionals in their field. While employees do need support and guidance, they don’t need their supervisors breathing down their necks at every turn. Trust your employees to do what they do best.
Often, micromanagement leads to employee frustration and anxiety, which can negatively impact their performance. You can avoid this by giving them the space they need to focus on their work in peace and quiet. If they need help, they’ll make it known.
- Tolerate Discrimination Or Harassment Of Any Kind
Discrimination and harassment are unacceptable forms of behaviour that shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere – and that includes your agency office.
Put solid zero-tolerance policies in place to support employees who have been mistreated in any way and take them seriously when they do. A safe, empathic, and respectful work environment is more productive and motivating for everyone involved.
- Ignore The Importance Of Feedback
Feedback is an extremely important part of a healthy workplace environment, and it should have a firmly rooted place in your employee management system.
Often, managers fail to understand the true weight or scale of the pressure they are putting on employees, leading to burnout, conflict, and poor work performance. But when you ask employees directly what they need in order to thrive and succeed, it’s much easier to provide it.
Ask your employees for regular feedback on their work experience, and take their suggestions, opinions, or concerns seriously. This helps foster a healthy sense of workplace communication.
- Overlook The Importance Of Work-Life Balance
We’ve touched on burnout a few times in this post, but it’s such a prevalent issue that it deserves its own section. Burnout is extremely common in the digital marketing industry, as the pressures, expectations, and sheer pace can become overwhelming without boundaries.
Don’t make the mistake of overlooking how hard your employees work or failing to provide them with the necessary tools and spaces for combating the symptoms of burnout.
Do The Right Thing
A strong people and culture strategy can have a significant impact on the success of a digital agency. By following these do’s and don’ts, digital agencies can create a workplace where employees thrive and contribute to the agency’s success.