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Company Culture: It’s a Cultural Thing!

Public relations professionals are generally ‘people people’, but balancing skillsets, interests, experience and the right personality fits often requires careful consideration. In a busy agency environment, company culture is paramount, and can often make or break both a business and the individuals that work with it.

As Team Leader at P4 Group, here are my top six tips for building and retaining the right team for your workplace.

Build a team that complements one another

In agency land, no two days are ever the same and there’s no guarantee that today’s client portfolio will be the same in three months’ time. As such, it’s important that your team canvasses a variety of interests and areas of expertise.

The old adage is true: one publicist’s trash is another publicist’s treasure.

When hiring, be mindful that you never know who’s at the end of your next BD call and what their particular business needs might be. If you’ve got health and beauty covered, perhaps be on the lookout for someone who lives and breathes sport or technology instead.

If you spot an available talent, snap it up

When it comes to agency workloads, balancing client hours with team member workloads can be a juggling act – we constantly walk a fine line between jumping at new opportunities and overloading the team. With this in mind, agencies are often required to grow their teams at short notice.

To avoid this (for the most part) at P4 Group, we operate on the philosophy that if you spot sensational, available talent, snap it up and the great work will follow.  There have been numerous occasions over the last year where we have had staff join P4 Group as ‘spares,’ only to find that we have more than enough work to fill their time, and then some!

Invest in company culture

If there is one tip you can take with you, this is the one, in my opinion.

Employees will rarely leave a business that they love, so investment in creating an affable, enjoyable working environment is vital. Be mindful that the little things can mean a big deal to the team, often more than the size of their pay packet at the event of each fortnight (don’t eye roll, it’s TRUE!).

A simple ‘thank you’ morning tea at the end of a big week, a random coffee run by the MD or a team dinner at the completion of a major project will do wonders for boosting morale and team member loyalty. At P4 Group, this is what we swear by – nurturing a company culture that attracts incredibly talented people and encourages team work and leadership.

Understand what motivates individual team members

It’s essential to learn exactly what gets individual team members out of bed every morning – their passion-points, not yours. Again, this is very rarely money.

At P4 Group, we conduct quarterly staff check-ins, alongside a business development drive, where we ask the team to nominate three prospective BD opportunities they’d love to work on personally. In addition to providing new BD leads, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of what makes your individual team members tick, and can allocate client work accordingly.

Promote genuine development pathways

Even your most talented, experienced team members want to feel that they’re continually honing their skills and have a clear trajectory plan in place for their future, as well as definitive milestones they can work towards.

At the start of every quarter, have your team members identify their short and long-term goals and ambitions and work with them to achieve them. It’s imperative they feel like they’re moving in the right direction at all times, and remember, it’s a two-way street. If you invest in your team members, they’ll invest in your business.

Open your door

Literally…and keep it open! At P4 Group, we promote an open door policy at all levels – every conversation that happens in the workplace should be able to happen with the door open. Too often, managers close their doors to have conversations that could be had out in an open space, and by doing this, it creates a culture of fear and separation.

If you feel a conversation warrants a closed door, take it to the boardroom or offsite to avoid office chatter and ensure no staff ever live in fear of being called to the MD’s office.

What are your top tips for creating and maintaining good company culture? Do you agree/ disagree with the above? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or via LinkedIn here.

Blog post written by Lauren Faulkner, Account Director at P4 Group.